Victory of the SPÖ – debacle for right-wing populists. According to projections, the social democrats have clearly triumphed in the Austrian capital. On the other hand, there was a historic debacle for the right-wing populist FPÖ – it lost around two thirds of its votes.
Victory of the SPÖ – debacle for right-wing populists
According to ORF projections, the social democrats in the capital Vienna clearly won the most important election this year in Austria. The right-wing FPÖ, on the other hand, experienced a historic debacle. Mayor Michael Ludwig’s SPÖ has 42 percent of the vote in its stronghold – that is an increase of 2.4 percentage points compared to the election five years ago.
According to the information, the right-wing populists lost more than two-thirds of their voters compared to the record result of 2015 and only got 7.7 percent (minus 23.1 percentage points). One reason for this is the fragmentation of the right-wing camp. The former FPÖ boss Heinz-Christian Strache came up with his own list and should fail with 3.6 percent at the 5 percent hurdle.
The Greens steer with 14.1 percent in the vicinity of their record result. The conservative ÖVP celebrated big gains – after a poor performance five years ago. It climbed 9.5 percentage points to 18.8 percent. “We moved up from fourth to second and have achieved the greatest gain in the history of the ÖVP,” said top candidate and finance minister Gernot Blümel. ÖVP boss and Chancellor Sebastian Kurz pointed out that it was the eighth successful state election in a row for the ÖVP.
“He is Angela Merkel from Vienna”
The liberal Neos did passably with a slight gain of almost eight percent. According to previous statements, the Neos want to enter into a coalition with the SPÖ as a junior partner. Since 2010 the city with its almost two million inhabitants has been ruled by a red-green alliance. The relationship among the coalition partners is considered tense. The victory of Ludwig, who succeeded long-term mayor Michael Häupl in 2018, was attributed not least to commentators to his balancing and central course. “He is Angela Merkel from Vienna,” said the editor-in-chief of the news magazine “Profil”, Christian Rainer.
For Strache, the state election in Vienna was a first acid test for his political comeback. Originally, he had aimed for a double-digit result in his hometown. “If we do not manage to move in, it could be the end of Strache’s political career,” said a member of his team at the newspaper “Kurier”. “There is no plan B,” said Karl Baron from the HC Strache team on ORF.
It can take until Tuesday for the official final result. The more than 380,000 voting cards will only be counted on Monday. However, the extrapolations already take into account the likely voting behavior of postal voters. More than 1.1 million citizens were called to vote. Many foreigners living in the city do not have the right to vote at the state level. Due to the Corona crisis, extensive security precautions were taken in the polling stations.