Tag Archives: Strache

When chaos, crisis and failed leadership are good news – the continued decline of Austria’s Far-Right


From Kärnten to Vienna and on to the State elections in Tirol and Salzburg, the situation for Austria’s Far-Right FPÖ is currently of failure, leading to crisis, followed by failure and eventually…..well the General Election in September certainly isn’t looking good for them.

First wave hits

After the State elections catastrophe in Kärnten and failure in Lower Austria the FPÖ has faced a wave of bad press coverage portraying a Party in crisis, it image as winners destroyed by corruption and extremism, its leader unable to bring order to the chaos and infighting. The reality of decline was further enhanced by an opinion poll in Vienna, the Party’s last stronghold, showing their vote significantly in decline.

Second wave hits

The only good news for FPÖ leader HC Strache, when the first waves of disaster hit, was that he appears to have managed to overt a direct challenge to his leadership. But this glimmer of light was more than offset by his unsuccessful attempt to remove the leader of the FPÖ (and political rival) in Lower Austria and a failed move to quickly force the FPÖ’s sister party in Kärnten, the FPK, back into the FPÖ. The aftermath left him looking weak, vulnerable to future challenges, and still with an ongoing crisis in Kärnten.

This week the crisis in Kärnten has deepened, and looks set to rumble on for some time to come, with:

  • Threats of the FPK splitting into two separate parties
  • Strache saying that he will consider ending co-operation with the FPK, with FPÖ then competing directly against them.
  •  The six FPK MPs in the State parliament splitting into two groups of 3. As club status requires 4 MP’s this means they will have no public funding and less influence in the parliament.

The effect of these splits, in one of the FPÖ’s former strongholds, could have a significant impact upon the Party come the general election for the Federal parliament in September.

The general decline in the FPÖ’s position and ongoing events in Kärnten are already having a knock on effect. The leader of the FPÖ in Tirol has called on the party to break now with the FPK. His group face their own State election in Tirol on the 28th April and polls are showing their vote down to around 8%. One week later the State of Salzburg will also hold its elections and the polls there show no sign of an FPÖ advance, despite both the SPÖ and ÖVP begin entangled in a government financial speculation scandal. In short the second wave looks likely to heap further chaos and crisis on the sinking FPÖ.

No Haider

Here’s an interesting article (in German but Google translate works well enough) in the Kurier looking at the weaknesses of the FPÖ’s Strache. It compares the late Jörg Haider and Heinz-Christian Strache – to summarise HC is no Haider.

Good News

So the good news from Austrian politics this week is that it’s all bad news for the FPÖ.

 

Related story: Austrian polls round-up

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Latest poll has more bad news for far-Right


The latest poll in the Profil magazine has some good news for the conservative ÖVP. They score highest of all the Parties (23%) on the question of who do you trust to deal with the current economic crisis, with their governing coalition Social Democrat partners (SPÖ) scoring 19%.

Profil’s poll also shows the far-Right FPÖ only scoring 11% on the economic trust question, whilst their leader  Heinz-Christian Strache fall by two percentage points to 13% on the question of who would be the best Chancellor (equivelant to British Prime Minister). Both figures add further weight to my thought, expressed in previous posts, that the FPÖ vote is soft despite the Party continuing to hold second place in the polls for the last six months or more.

Below is my updated average of the five most recent polls I’ve come across:

Polls GE 2008 Change
SPO 29.00% 29.3% -0.30%
OVP 24.20% 26% -1.80%
FPO 25.80% 17.5% 8.30%
Greens 13.80% 10.4% 3.40%
BZO 4.60% 10.7% -6.10%
Others 2.80% 6.1% -3.30%
Sources: Karmasin/Profil 14-01-12
Gallup, 01-01-2012
IMAS, 28-12-2011
Gallup, 25-12-2011
ATV, 15-12-2011

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