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Austrian Parliamentary Election 2019

Voter transitions from national election 2017

On Sunday, September 29, Austria has elected a new Parliament. – After this evening, the majority of voting cards (1,070.933 have been issued) still remains to be counted from Monday, September 30. SORA provides  prognosis of the final result here.

Analysis and motives

The ORF/SORA/ISA election day survey among 1.226 eligible voters shows which motives moved voters in this election.

Mixed mood among voters but broad support for Sebastian Kurz

Two years after the last election, the political mood is mixed: About a third of eligible voters see positive / negative / no changes since then.

  • After „Ibizagate“ and scandals, 50% of eligible voters say they are satisfied with the last ÖVP-FPÖ government.
  • On the other hand, only 3 out of 10 ÖVP-voters want another ÖVP-FPÖ coalition.
  • In a fictitious direct election, Sebastian Kurz would have reached an even better result than the ÖVP with 47% who want him for Chancellor.

Top-topic environment/climate

Two years ago, immigration and asylum have been the most often discussed topics during the election campaign.
This time, environment/climate tops the agenda for the first time: 33% of eligible voters say they have discussed “very often” about this topic. Second most discussed topics has been corruption in politics.

Who voted for whom? Voting choice by sociodemography

The election day survey shows substantial differences in voting choice between different socio-demographic groups.

Differences by age and gender

This national election reveals are large gap between old (60+) and young (under 30) voters: While ÖVP and SPÖ get about three quarter of the vote among the old, among the young ÖVP and Greens get 27% each and the FPÖ 20%.

  • The Freedom Party is especially strong among young men, while young women voted Greens and NEOS above average.

Differences by occupational status

Among blue-collar workers, the Freedom Party came in first with 48% of the vote (SPÖ: 23%, ÖVP: 21%).

Among white-collar workers, the ÖVP receives 40%, SPÖ and Greens 18% each.

Differences by formal education

Among voters with secondary degree or university education, Greens and NEOS are especially strong.
ÖVP, SPÖ and particularly FPÖ on the other hand get better results among voters without secondary degree.

Voting motives

ÖVP (Conservatives): majority sees good work of ÖVP-FPÖ government

ÖVP-supporters want continuity: 3 out of 10 (29%) are “very satisfied” with the last ÖVP-FPÖ government, another 6 out of 10 are “rather satisfied”. On the other hand, only 3 out of 10 want the FPÖ in a coalition government again.
When asked about the “main reason” for voting for their party, 18% cite leading candidate Kurz and another 13% specifically that Kurz should be Chancellor again.

The topics most discussed among Kurz-voters have been health care (28% very often discussed) economy (26%) as well as immigration and environment/climate (21% each).

Social-democrats (SPÖ): Top-3 topics environment/climate, corruption and health care

SPÖ suffers its worst result since 1945. Leading candidate Rendi-Wagner was the main voting motive for only 9% auf SPÖ-supporters.

Most discussed topics for SPÖ-voters were corruption (43%), environment/climate (42%) and health care (41%). – The traditional topic of labour market / working conditions have been discussed “very often” by only 31% of SPÖ-voters.

Freedom Party (FPÖ): immigration and security

The Freedom Party suffers strong losses and is reduced to core supporters. Therefore, the party’s traditional topics have been most important during the campaign: 69% of FPÖ-voters have “very often” discussed about immigration, 54% have discussed about “security”.

FPÖ-voters are by far most satisfied with the last ÖVP-FPÖ coalition government: 50% are „very satisfied“, another 42% „rather satisfied“. 12 percent of FPÖ-voters say that “Ibizagate” has done their party wrong and that’s the main raison for their voting choice.

Greens with core topics environment/climate, anti-corruption and education

Green party positions are by far the most important voting motive for the Greens (44% “main motive”).

During the election campaign, 81% of Green-voters discussed “very often” about environment/climate, 46% about corruption in politics.

NEOS: Strong leading candidate Meinl-Reisinger

While apart from the ÖVP the parties‘ leading candidates have been less important as voting motives, this is different for NEOS: 19% of NEOS-supporters cite Beate Meinl-Reisinger as their main voting motive, another 18% specifically her performance in the TV-debates. 16% said they voted NEOS for its political positions, 13% for its credibilty.

Top topics for NEOS-voters have been environment/climate and education (each 44% „very often discussed“).

Which party in coalition government

Respondents were also asked which parties they would prefer in a coalition government.

  • ÖVP-supporters prefer a coalition with NEOS (43%), FPÖ (34%) and Greens (20%)
  • While only 1 out of 3 ÖVP-voters wants another ÖVP-FPÖ coalition, this holds true for 84% of FPÖ-supporters.
  • Among SPÖ-voters, 31% want a coalition with the FPÖAmong NEOS-voters it is 71%
  • Among Green-voters, 31%.

Democray, corruption and “Ibizagate”

63 percent “strongly agree” that democracy is the „best form of government“. That is 9 percentage points less than in 2017 (72% “strongly agree”) and 18 percentage points less than in 2013.

  • Only a minority of 15% of respondents see “Ibizagate” as typical for “all political parties”, but 28% of non-voters share this opinion.
  • Three quarters of eligible voters say that it is “very important for democracy that media reveal things like the ‘Ibiza video’, even if they use questionable sources”. Only Freedom Party voters do not share this opinion by the majority.

Voter transition analysis

The SORA analysis shows voter transitions from the national election 2017. Major trends are:

  • ÖVP mobilises 86% of its voters from 2017. Substantial additional gains from Freedom Party (258.000 votes or 20% of Freedom Party voters from 2017)
  • Social-Democrats mobilise 68% of their voters from 2017. Strong losses towards Greens (193.000 votes)
  • Freedom Party loses 258.000 votes to ÖVP and another 235.000 have not voted at all in this election.
  • The Greens had lost 8,6 percentage points from their 2013 result to the election 2017 and not made the 4-percent treshhold for entering parliament.
    Their comeback in the election 2019 is due to gains from SPÖ (193.000), Liberals (NEOS, 91.000 votes) and the list JETZT (90.000) which had split from the Greens in 2017.