Tag Archives: Salzburg State Election 2013

Greens advance as SPÖ takes a hammering in Salzburg

The provision results for Salzburg State give the Greens an election night to remember, their 19.9% is higher than any of the opinion poll predictions. Those same polls failed to anticipate the scale of the SPÖ crash.

The figures at the time of writing are:

ÖVP 29.2% (-7.3%), SPÖ 23.6 (-15.8%), Greens 19.9% (+12.5%), FPÖ 17.3% (+4.3), Team Stronach 8.4% (+8.4%)


So what does this mean for the Parties?

It’s extremely good news for the Greens. They are now the third largest party in the State, have advanced in all four of this year’s State elections, and have in Salzburg exceeded their current national polling average figure.

As the lead partner in the outgoing State government the SPÖ were always likely to suffer at the ballot box, but the polls had suggested that they would secure something in the high 20’s. This is a bad night for the Social Democrats but it’s also marks three out of four State elections where the Party has lost support – the exception being the big win in Kärnten.

The Far-Right FPÖ have seen their vote go up this evening, on the face of it they too are winners. However, a year ago this result would have looked poor as they would have expected to scoop up the votes wanting to punish the SPÖ and ÖVP for the financial scandal. Tonight is the first of the four State elections this year in which their vote hasn’t dropped is the only real comfort for a party that is now only the fourth strongest in Salzburg and whose national support has tumbled in the 15 months.

Oddly, the ‘winner’ tonight doesn’t have that much to cheer about. The ÖVP may now be the largest party in the State but they lost 7.3% points from an already historic low. The Party has topped the poll in three out of four States this year but in all four elections its support has declined.

Finally, the party of Austro-Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach, ‘Team Stronach’, will be pleased to have secured seats in the parliament – something they failed to do last week in Tirol. However, in three State elections this new Right of Centre Populist party has failed to achieve the 10% it is currently recording as its national poll average. Frank may need a new business plan before the general election in September.



Current national average ratings based upon last five polls:

SPÖ: 27.2%,  ÖVP: 24.6%,  FPÖ 18.8%,  Greens 13.6%,  Team Stronach: 9.8%,  BZÖ 2.0%,  Others 4.0%

Percentage variation across last five polls:

SPÖ: 27%-28%, ÖVP: 24%-25%, FPÖ 18%-19%, Greens 13%-14%, Team Stronach: 9%-10%, BZÖ 1%-4%


Karmasin/profil 20-04-13
Gallup/oe24 19-04-13
IMAS/krone 06-04-13
Gallup/oe24 06-04-13
Karmasin/heute 04-04-13


1 Comment

Filed under Austrian Politics, Politics

Could the Conservatives ‘win’ the General Election in September?

Less than eighteen months ago the obituaries were being written for the ÖVP but it’s the conservatives who are winning the early rounds in Austria’s ‘super election year’*. Come the General Election in September the Party could be in first place if the current trend was to hold – assuming they don’t break from the governing coalition, force an early election and make a dash for first place while the going is good.

Current average based upon last five polls:

SPÖ: 26.6%, ÖVP: 24.8%, FPÖ 21.2%, Greens 12.8%, Team Stronach: 8.4%, BZÖ 2%, Others 4.2%

Percentage variation across last five polls:

SPÖ: 24%-28%, ÖVP: 23%-26%, FPÖ 21%-22%, Greens 11%-14%, Team Stronach: 7%-10%, BZÖ 1%-4%

Change since 1st January:

SPÖ: -0.4%, ÖVP: +2%, FPÖ +0.4%, Greens -1.2%, Team Stronach -2.2%, BZÖ +0.4%, Others +1%


On an upward trajectory


The ÖVP were seen as clear winners of January’s Conscription referendum, which has galvanised their electoral machine and left the SPÖ internally finger pointing about their preparedness and poor tactics.

The news from Lower Austria, where the Party has an absolute majority in the State parliament, is looking positive with the most recent poll giving the Party 49% support (down from 54.4% at the last election). While an absolute majority may slip away by polling day on the 3rd March, it doesn’t look as though the new competitor, Team Stronach, is having the impact some commentators expected (currently 8%) and you won’t want to put serious money on Governor Pröll and the ÖVP machine failing to maintain their majority.

In the current debate about how good or bad the EU budget negotiations were for Austria, the ÖVP’s attacks on its senior coalition partners performance seems to sit on the same side of the fence as many voters – 44% say EU budget negotiations bad for Austria. Noticeably 49% of SPÖ believe the country is paying too much and 55% of ÖVP take the same view. However, Austrian votes remain strongly in favour of the EU and the move by the traditionally very pro-EU ÖVP to a mildly sceptical (though still pro) position, at a time when the SPÖ has shifted to a stronger pro-EU line, may have longer term disadvantages.



On the same day as the largest of Austria’s States delivers it verdict on the ÖVP’s absolute majority, the party is likely to record a poor result in the southern State of Kärnten. Here if the polls are correct, the ÖVP may slip from third to fifth place.

The Party’s hopes of improved results in the State elections in Salzburg and Tyrol are by no means guaranteed and they are likely to gain little from the results of the Vienna referendum questions.

The SPÖ remain in first place despite the setbacks of the last few weeks. They have a real possibility of securing first place in the Kärnten State election – breaking the control of the state by the FPÖ’s sister party the FPK. The SPÖ has been polling most strongly in recent months when they have pushed clear positive agenda for instance the pro-EU stance, taking on the FPÖ head on, and their immediate poll ratings didn’t actually yo-yo after the conscription debate. In short, if the SPÖ can stay united and retain a centre-left position (despite the desire of some to shift further left) they are the party mostly likely to secure first place at the General Election.

Additionally, while Team Stronach is primarily in a battle for voters with the FPÖ, any significant improvement in its support is likely to cost the ÖVP a few percentage points. Moreover, as this article in Profil highlights, the ÖVP will also face the threat of losing support to Austria’s new liberal Centrist party NEOS. (The new party, along with the Pirates, could also pose a threat to the Green Party’s chances).



Winning the election?

My guess is that the ÖVP won’t come out first at the General Election in September. They are, however, most likely to be one of the winners in forming the next coalition government:

Realistic coalition options based on current average polls:

ÖVP/Greens/SPÖ – 64.2%

TeamStronach/ÖVP/SPÖ – 59.8%

FPÖ/ TeamStronach/ÖVP – 54.4%

ÖVP/SPÖ – 51.4%


(*Super election year – National conscription referendum; State elections in Lower Austria, Kärnten, Salzburg, and Tyrol; Vienna referendum; Federal General Election).


IMAS/Krone 13-02-13
Karmasin/Heute 08-02-13
Gallup/oe24 03-02-13
Karmasin/profil 26-01-13
Gallup/oe24 26-01-13


Leave a comment

Filed under Austrian Politics, Politics