Tag Archives: REKOS

Poor return on investment in EU2014 for Austria’s main parties


This piece in the Österreich newspaper caught my eye, 12.8m spent on the EU election.

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When you do the sums for each party it produces a rather depressing answer to the question ‘How important was the party war chest in securing the votes’.

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‘Money talks’ is not a new story. But for strategists, PR consultants and campaign managers, for all five of the main parties in Austria, the table below is stark evidence that their EU campaigns failed to outperform their opponents.

Result 14 €/1%
24.1 3307 137
27 3705 137
19.7 2707 137
14.5 1987 137
8.1 1116 138

 

So at party HQ’s in recent days has the message been recognised? Are campaign strategies being revisited and policies reviewed? Or are the various leaderships content to play politics of ‘high investment for low returns’ in which results rely of the war chest?

If Frank Stronach did one thing for Austrian politics at the last general election it was to demonstrate that actually ‘money won’t guarantee votes’, you need policies and a decent campaign. The upcoming State elections, in the next twelve months, will give the parties the chance try to break through the € barrier. The ‘return on investment’ in campaigning might just be worth it.

 

2014-05-25 09.39.21

 

 

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Comparing Austria EP2014 results with GE2013 & EP2009 – election note 1


Austrian EP2014 results and change from previous elections:

Party EP 2014 Result Change from General Election 2013 Change from EP 2009
ÖVP – conservatives (Governing Coalition) 27% +3 -3
SPÖ – Social Democrats (Governing Coalition) 24.1% -2.7 +0.4
FPÖ – Far-Right Populist 19.7% -0.8 +7
Grüne – centre-left 14.5% +2.1 +4.6
NEOS – Liberal-Centrist 8.1% +3.2 *n/a
EU-STOP – Eurosceptic, far-right 2.8% n/a **+2.8
Europa Anders – Alliance of Communists, Pirates, & The Change – Left 2.1% ***+0.3 n/a
REKOS – Eurosceptic, far-right 1.2% n/a n/a
BZÖ – ‘moderate’ FPÖ 0.5% -3.1 -4.1

 

Not competing in EP 2014 election:

List Martin (Eurosceptic) – EP2009 17.7%

Team Stronach (Populist) – GE2013 5.7%

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Notes

*Party formed in 2012

**First election

***Figure based on combining Communist & Pirates results.

 

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What will a good result look like on EU election night in Austria?


Austrian politics in going through a significant period of change, what the new ‘norm’ will look like is very much open to question. That’s why this week’s EU election matters to the Parties more than ever. The general election last September marked the end of the paradigm that has dominated politics here in recent years; the EU election marks the first battle in a struggle for a place in the newly emerging political landscape.

Even before the EU election results are announced the Parties will begin their efforts to spin the results. To help you make sense of the chatter, here is a quick guide to what a good, average or even disastrous result will be for each of the Parties in Austria:

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Governing Grand Coalition

SPÖ

The larger of the two parties that form the ruling ‘Grand Coalition’, the Social Democrats are currently polling at around the same figure as they achieved at the last EU election.  To date they have had a good election with their poll ratings up since January.

Good result: Securing 1st place in the polls but with a lower percentage than secured in last year’s General Election.

Bad result: 2nd place with lower percentage than secured in last EU election.

Great result: 1st place in the polls but with 27% or more share of the vote.

Disastrous result: 3rd place.

ÖVP

The junior party in the ruling ‘Grand Coalition’, the conservative People’s Party topped the poll at the last EU election. Their current average rating of 24.4% is down 5.6% on that election result. Since January their polling average has dropped by 1%.

Good result: Retaining 1st place.

Bad result: Coming 2nd with a lower share of the vote than secured in the 2013 General Election.

Great result: Retaining 1st place with a share of the vote above 25%.

Disastrous result: Dropping to 3rd place or 2nd with either NEOS or Greens securing 15% vote share.

Progressive Alternatives (Click for blog post)

Grünen

The Greens are currently 3.4% up on their last EU election result but have remained unchanged in the polls when compared to January.

Good result: Retaining fourth place and matching their share of the vote in last Septembers General Election.

Bad result: Slipping into fifth place.

Great result: Securing a 15% or more share of the vote.

Disastrous result: Securing less than 12% of the vote and coming fifth.

NEOS

The Liberal Centrist party broke into the national parliament at the first attempt last September with just under 5% of the vote. Suffered a bad penultimate week of campaigning but looks to be bouncing back in final days. They share with the SPÖ the status of having increase vote share in the polls since January.

Good result: More than doubling their share of the vote compared with the last General Election.

Bad result: Securing less than 10% share of the vote. (Given polling figure in last 6 months anything less would be seen as underperforming)

Great result: Securing fourth place or achieving 15% vote share.

Disastrous result: Securing less than 7% share of the vote.

Populists

FPÖ

Currently up by 7.7% on the last EU election (when the List Martin stole the anti-government show and the BZÖ remained a real political force) the FPÖ has seen its average poll rating slip (-2%) compared to its New Year performance.

Good result: Securing 2nd place.

Bad result: 3rd place with a vote share below 25% (Party has no serious Populist competitors this time and last EU election EU-sceptic populists secured 34.96%)

Great result: 1st place with over 25% share of vote.

Disastrous result:  3rd place with a vote share of under 21%

BZÖ

This FPÖ lite party fell out of the national parliament back in September. Their campaign to date has had no impact on the polls and they remain at little over 1%.

Good result: Securing 6th place and 4% vote share.

Bad result: Securing 6th place with less than 3.5% of vote

Great result: Anything over 4%

Disastrous result: Failing to achieve 6th place.

REKOS

The Reform Conservatives like the BZÖ remain an ‘also run’, stuck on 1%.

Good result: Securing +3% vote share

Bad result: Less than 3% vote share

Great result: Securing 6th place

Disastrous result: Achieving less than 1% vote share.

EUSTOP

This ‘lock the borders and throw away the key’ grouping just doesn’t register in this election and isn’t going to provide any surprises.

Good result: Securing 1% of vote share.

Bad result: Less than 1% of vote share

Great result: +1% of vote share

Disastrous result: n/a

The other alternative

Europa Anders

This list is an electoral alliance of the Communist Party, the Pirates and Change. As they have often been included in ‘others’ in the polls it’s a little bit more difficult to track their performance. In the 1st May Gallup poll they achieved their highest ever figure of 3%. They appear to have advanced between 1.5% & 2% since the alliance was formed.

(Note: Back in January I was estimating the Pirates support at around 2% and the Communists at 1%.)

Good result: Securing 6th place

Bad result: Less than 3% vote share.

Great result: Achieving 4% vote share.

Disastrous result: Less than 2.5% vote share.

 

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In sight of the finishing line and in Austria only the EU looks certain to win


It’s time for the last big push from all the parties before Austria goes to the polls on 25th May in the EU parliamentary elections. How are they doing as we enter the final week?

Current polls

Average figures based on last five EU polls:

  Polls Av Now Euro 2009 Change
SPO 24.6% 23.74% 0.9%
OVP 24.4% 29.98% -5.6%
FPO 20.4% 12.71% 7.7%
Greens 13.3% 9.93% 3.4%
Martin 0.0% 17.67% -17.7%
NEOS 11.8% 0.00% 11.8%
BZO 1.3% 4.58% -3.3%
REKOS 1.0% 0.00% 1.0%
Ander 2.5% 0.00% 2.5%
EU-STOP 0.0% 0.00% 0.0%

 

Notes: Martin List not contesting this election; EU-STOP not registering in the polls; NEOS contesting first EU election.

Variations in the last five polls:

  Lowest Highest
SPO 23% 26%
OVP 23% 26%
FPO 20% 21%
Greens 12% 16%
NEOS 10% 14%
BZO 1% 2%
REKOS 0% 2%
Ander 1% 3%
EU-STOP 0% 0%

 

Movement in the polls

The far-Right FPÖ have, after the scandal earlier in the campaign, nudged their poll ratings back into the 20’s but show no signs of advancing. They are -2% in comparison to their January ratings.

All the recent poll movements are between the governing Grand Coalition parties (Social Democrat – SPÖ – and conservative – ÖVP) on one side and the progressives alternatives (Centre left – Greens – and Liberal Centrist – NEOS) on the other.

Currently the strength of the three groupings of progressive alternatives; traditional mainstream; and the populists are:

Polls Av Now
Greens NEOS 25.1%
SPO OVP 49.0%
FPO BZO/REKOS/EUSTOP 22.7%

 

Good news for pro-EU campaign

Based upon the average figures from the most recent polls, parties with a broadly pro-EU position are up +10.5% against the anti-EU camp in comparison to 2009.

At the last election the EU sceptic camp included the FPÖ, BZÖ, List Martin. Their combined support was 34.96%. So at this stage in the campaign the current sceptic flag wavers are down 12.3%.

 

 

Sources:
Unique Research/profil 17-05-14
Gallup/oe24 15-05-14
Hajek/ATV 15-05-14
Market/DerStandard 14-05-14
OMG/Kurier 11-05-14

 

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Populist EU sceptics drop back in Austrian polls


With polling day getting closer and the Parties moving into the main phase of their EU campaigns, it seems a good moment to take a look at who is on the up and who is struggling in the election campaign here in Austria.

Good news for pro-EU campaign

Since my last blog post on the EU election the pro-EU parties SPÖ/ÖVP/Grünen/NEOS have advanced slightly and now have a combined figure of 74.8% (+0.8%). While the Populist EU sceptics FPÖ/BZÖ/REKOS combined total has dropped to 21.6% (-1%).

Currently parties with a broadly pro-EU position are up +11% against the anti-EU camp in comparison to 2009.

At the last election the EU sceptic camp included the FPÖ, BZÖ, List Martin. Their combined support was 34.96%. So at this stage in the campaign the current sceptic flag wavers are down 13.36%.

Campaign performances so far

The Parties have been on the EU election campaign trail since the beginning of the year. A look at the changes in average polling figures between the beginning of January and the 1st May provides some insight into how each of the Party is doing.

Advancing in the polls

NEOS

The Liberal Centrist party broke into the national parliament at the first attempt last September with just under 5% of the vote. They have now overtaken the Greens in the polls with an average figure of 13.6%. Since January they have seen their EU poll figures improve by +4%.

SPÖ

The larger of the two parties that form the ruling ‘Grand Coalition’, the Social Democrats are currently polling at the same figure as they achieved at the last EU election.  They are also only one of three election lists to improve its ratings since January, up 2%.

Europa Anders

This list is an electoral alliance of the Communist Party, the Pirates and Change. As they have often been included in ‘others’ in the polls it’s a little bit more difficult to track their performance. In the 1st May Gallup poll they achieved their highest ever figure of 3%. They appear to have advanced between 1.5% & 2% since the alliance was formed.

(Note: Back in January I was estimating the Pirates support at around 2% and the Communists at 1%.)

 

Stuck in the polls

ÖVP

The junior party in the ruling ‘Grand Coalition’, the conservative People’s Party topped the poll at the last EU election. Their current average rating of 24.6% is down 5.4% on that election result. Since January their polling average has remained unchanged. The only good news for the Party is that they are polling 4% higher in the EU polls than the national polls.

Grünen

The Greens have remained unchanged in the polls when compared to January. However, then they held fourth position which they’ve now relinquished to NEOS.

BZÖ

This FPÖ lite party fell out of the national parliament back in September. Their campaign to date has had no impact on the polls and they remain at little over 1%.

REKOS

The Reform Conservatives like the BZÖ remain an ‘also run’, stuck on 1%.

 

Dropping points

FPÖ

Although up by 6% on the last EU election (when the List Martin stole the anti-government show) the FPÖ has seen its average poll rating slip (-3%) compared to its New Year performance.

 

Off the radar

EUSTOP

This ‘lock the borders and throw away the key’ grouping just doesn’t register in this election and isn’t going to provide any surprises.

 

The winners will be….

Let’s remember the old saying ‘A week is a long time in politics’. Much could happen between now and the 25th May. However, despite the campaign launches, the posters on every corner and the hours of TV coverage, to date not much has changed for most of those campaigning.

My guesses for election night:

It looks like the FPÖ will be able to claim ‘victory’ with an increased share of the vote but in fact will have shown that their decline and fall, like a melting glacier, is slow but real.

Despite the fact they will suffer the biggest loss of votes, the ÖVP will probably be happy to have polled ahead of the FPÖ.

Expected to hear the SPÖ saying ‘First is first’ as they take first spot with the same share of the vote they achieved in 2009. To be fair, in the current climate this will be a real win and achievement for the Party.

The Greens will take comfort in a modest gain in their share of the vote but will be concerned that they are losing ground to NEOS and not making significant inroads into the support of the ‘Grand Coalition’  at a time when both parties look vulnerable.

The big election winners will be NEOS with somewhere between 13% and 15% of the vote. A major advance for a Party that is only a year and a half old, which gained just under 5% at the first attempt to secure seats in the national parliament, and who is still building its organisation.

 

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Austrian voters’ line-up with Pro-EU Parties


Not always known for its pro-EU sympathies, the electorate of Austria are this time round more firmly backing parties with pro-EU views.

The headlines I read in the international press often talk about the advance of the FPÖ alongside other Far-Right parties in the upcoming EU parliamentary elections. If you look at the current polling averages and compare them to the last election it would appear, at first glance, that we have another story of Far-Right, anti-EU advance in an EU member state. FPÖ 2009 12.7% now average poll figure 19.6%.

But wait. Let’s add a few footnotes:

  1. Austria is a country where opinion polls regularly show around 33% of the electorate as EU sceptic.
  2. Last election the FPÖ faced serious competition for the sceptic vote from the Martin List and the BZÖ.
  3. This time round there is no Martin List, the BZÖ dropped out of the national parliament last September and their lead candidate quit early in their campaign. The other anti-EU parties competing have few resources and represent no serious competition.
  4. In national politics the governing Grand Coalition of the SPÖ/ÖVP have had a bad start to their latest term in office.

In short, the FPÖ as the largest opposition party in Austria should have everything going for them. But that’s not how it’s playing out in the polls:

Average figures based on last five EU polls

  Polls Av Now Euro 2009 Change
SPO 23.4% 23.74% -0.3%
OVP 24.6% 29.98% -5.4%
FPO 19.6% 12.71% 6.9%
Greens 12.8% 9.93% 2.9%
Martin 0.0% 17.67% -17.7%
NEOS 13.2% 0.00% 13.2%
BZO 1.8% 4.58% -2.8%
REKOS 1.2% 0.00% 1.2%
Ander 1.4% 0.00% 1.4%

 

The pro-EU parties SPÖ/ÖVP/Grünen/NEOS have a combined figure of 74%. While the Populist EU sceptics FPÖ/BZÖ/REKO combined total is 22.6%.

Currently parties with a broadly pro-EU position are up +10% against the anti-EU camp.

I wrote the other day about the advance of the progressives alternatives in the national parliamentary polls. In the EU polls the gap between the progressive alternatives and the populists is currently larger:

Polls Av
Greens NEOS 26.0%
SPO OVP 48.0%
FPO BZO/REKOS 22.6%

 

One particular point of interest is that the party with the strongest pro-EU message, Neos, is making the largest impact in the election.  This Liberal Centrist party broke into the national parliament at the first attempt last September with just under 5% of the vote. They have now overtaken the Greens in the polls with an average figure of 13.2%. It seems the Party’s ‘We love Europe’ slogan is doing them no harm.

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