Local Municipal Elections Graz

The Graz municipal council elections on 26.1.2003 led to massive voter transition in the Styrian capital. With 35,9% (+12,7%) the ÖVP (People's Party) gained the most votes. The KPÖ (Communist Party) too was a big winner of this election: with a surplus of 13,1% votes (21% all up) it achieved the best result since 1945. The FPÖ (Freedom Party) lost 18,8% and ranked with 8% behind the Greens, which in turn gained 8,4% (+2,8%) of the valid votes. The SPÖ (Social Democrats) lost 5,1% (25% all up) and fell back to the second place.
(All results without election cards.)

Voter turnout

The voter turnout at the Graz municipal council elections on 26.1.2003 sank with 57,2% to a historical low. This low voter turnout was due to a lot of former FPÖ and SPÖ voters who did not go to vote this time.

The ÖVP benefits from the national election result

Just like at the national election, the ÖVP gained most votes from the FPÖ - about 6500 voters shifted from the FPÖ to the ÖVP. Additionally the ÖVP could gain a small amount on votes of all the other parties which contributed to its success.
The migration of FPÖ voters slowed down in comparison to the national election.

KPÖ gains former FPÖ voters

In the final stage of the election campaign the KPÖ rather successfully attracted voters and finally gained 5.500 votes from the FPÖ - a clear sign that this was a protest election. The KPÖ was able to win about 7.000 votes from the non voters.

The SPÖ falls back to the second place

The SPÖ Graz loses 5% and falls back behind the ÖVP.
The main reason for the SPÖ's loss of votes, was its failure to motivate its former voters to go to the polls. About every fifth former SPÖ voter (~7.500) stayed home. The gain of votes - mainly from the FPÖ (~1.700) - could not compensate for these losses.

The FPÖ falls back from the second to the fifth place

The FPÖ Graz could not put a stop to the nationwide trend and lost about three quarters of its former voters of 1998. They lost most votes to the non voters (~11.000), to the ÖVP (~6.500) and to the KPÖ (~5.500). In contrast to the national election many FPÖ voters in Graz did not go to the polls or voted for the KPÖ.

The Greens gain from small parties

The Greens benefited from the poor election results of the small parties and gained about 2.000 votes. The vote-exchange with the other parties was relatively low.

Source: SORA estimates on basis of a survey in cooperation with GMK Graz. Period of questioning: 14. till 16.1.2003, N=400.