Austria

Voters give Grand Alliance lukewarm approval


Published

Austrian voters gave the two major parties that had formed a ‘grand coalition’ since 2008 a less than resounding victory in yesterday’s general election.

Chancellor Werner Faymann said that his Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) would invite his centre-right Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) partners to form another ‘grand coalition’. Reuters reports, however, that ÖVP leader Michael Spindelegger, whilst open to the idea, might also look at a coalition with the Freedom Party (FPÖ) and Team Stronach, both on the right or far right.

The final result of the election announced last night gave the centre-left Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) 27.1% a drop of 2.2% on 2008 and three seats fewer, down to 53 seats in the 183 seat National Council.

The centre-right Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) dropped five seats to 46 seats with 23.8% of the vote, also a drop of 2.2%.

The big winners of the night were the far right Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). They went up from 34 seats to 42 seats, increasing their percentage of the vote by 3.9% to 21.4%.

The Greens went up to 11.5% and 22 seats whilst Team Stronach upped their seats to 11 and took 5.8% of the vote. Newcomers, the New Austria Party (NEOS) just passed the 4% threshold by taking 4.8% of the vote and nine seats.

The big losers of the night were the right wing Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ) who had split from the FPÖ in 2005. They took just 3.6% of the vote, just below the 4% threshold and lost all 13 seats.

Turnout was just 66%, down from the 78.8% of 2008.

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