Vienna City Council Elections 2020

Voter Transitions from Vienna Election 2015

The ORF/SORA/ISA election day survey is based on telephone and online interviews among 2.074 eligible voters conducted between October 7 and 10.

Voting behaviour

Differences by age and gender

In the 2020 City Council Elections, women voted more often for the Greens and the Social Democrats, while men voted for the Freedom Party above-average.

In terms of age, the Social Democrats and Conservatives did well among older voters – added up they received more than three quarters of the votes from voters of 60 and older. The Liberals were more frequently elected by people under 44 years of age, while there were only minor age deviations for the Freedom Party.

The differences by age and gender are even more pronounced: 36 percent of young women voted for the Greens, only 5 percent of older women. For the Social Democrats, on the other hand, there were hardly any gender differences among voters over 60. The Freedom Party won significantly more votes from men in all age groups.

Voting behavior by occupational status

Among blue collar workers, the Social Democrats is strongest with 37 percent of the vote,  followed by the Freedom Party with 26 percent. The party of former Freedom Party leader HC Strache (Team HC) achieved its strongest result among blue collar workers (19 percent).

Among the much larger group of white-collar workers, the Social Democrats also came out with 37 percent, followed by the Conservatives with 19 percent and the Greens with 18 percent. The Liberals reached their highest result among the self-employed (13 percent), first place in this group won the Conservative Party People's Party (30 percent). The majority of public servants voted for the Social Democrats, and this party also achieved an absolute majority among pensioners.

Voting behavior and formal education

Taking formal education into account, the Social Democrats scored best among voters without secondary school diploma (they came close to the 50 percent mark). The Freedom Party was strongest among people with compulsory schooling and apprenticeships, and the Conservatives among voters with high school diplomas. Among people with university degrees, the Greens reached 25 percent.

Voting behavior according to perception of quality of life in Vienna

The biggest difference in voting behavior in this election is associated with people’s assessment of the quality of life in Vienna. 74 percent of the elegible voters attest Vienna a very high quality of life - an increase of 10 percentage points compared to 2015. The opposite – that Vienna was run-down and has lost much of its quality of life – is believed by 23 percent.

  • Among those who see a declining quality of life, 28 percent voted for the Freedom Party, 27 percent for the Conservatives and 17 percent for the Social Democrats.
  • Among those who see a continued high quality of life, the Freedom Party reaches last place (3 percent), behind the Social Democrats (48 percent), the Greens (18 percent), the Conservatives (16 percent) and the Liberals (9 percent).

Motives and topics

A majority is satisfied with the corona policy of the city government 

16 percent of elegible voters are very satisfied, 44 percent quite satisfied with how the city government is dealing with the Corona pandemic. In contrast, 26 percent express little satisfaction in this regard and 11 percent no satisfaction at all. Satisfaction is particularly high among voters of the Social Democrats (86 percent) and the Greens (91 percent), while it is less pronounced among Liberal voters (48 percent) and Conservative voters (40 percent). The overwhelming majority of Freedom Party voters is little or not at all satisfied with the Corona policy of the Vienna City Government (82 percent).

The corona policy of the federal government receives a lower rating from Vienna's elegible voters: A total of 54 percent are very or rather satisfied.

Conservative voters express a particularly high level of satisfaction (90 percent, of which 38 percent are very satisfied); the opposite applies to Freedom Party voters - only 20 percent of them are very or quite satisfied. Few Green voters (7 percent) are very satisfied, but more than halfof them (56 percent) are quite satisfied with the corona policy of the federal governmant (a coalition of the Conservative Party and the Greens).

Corona, jobs and the economy have been the main concerns of voters

The most frequently discussed issue among voters was the corona pandemic: During the election campaign, 46 percent of them discussed it very frequently, followed by the related jobs and the economy (31 percent). Among the party voters, the focus was also on jobs and the economy (for Social Democratic and Conservative voters), education (Liberal voters) and immigration (Freedom Party voters) as well as climate and environmental protection (Green voters). Freedom Party and Green voters discussed the respective topics more often than Corona.

The Corona pandemic and the issue of jobs and the economy are also related to voters' worries and concerns: The most worrying aspect of the Corona pandemic is that the gap between rich and poor is widening (overall 85 percent very or rather worried, but only less than half of the Conservative voters). Concerning their own financial situation, 38 % of voters are very or rather worried, among Freedom Party voters, this proportion is particularly high (57 %).

Social Democrats: Top issues Corona, jobs and economy, health care

For Social Democratic voters, the top 3 issues in the election campaign were the corona pandemic (42 percent very frequently discussed), jobs and the economy (32 percent) and health care (32 percent). Their main reasons for voting this party are the top candidate (20 percent), the party's political points of view and the party’s work so far (18 percent each).

Freedom Party: Top Issues Immigration and Integration, Security, and Corona

Freedom Party voters discussed immigration and integration (73 percent) as well as security or crime (60 percent) most frequently, followed by the corona pandemic (51 percent). For Freedom Party voters, the party's political points of view were the main reason for their decision (for 21 percent). 11 percent named the top candidate as their most important voting motive and 8 percent said that the Freedom Party would be the best party for the future of the city of Vienna.

Greens with core issues environment/climate, traffic and education

During the election campaign, 66 percent of the Green voters discussed climate and environmental protection very frequently, followed by traffic (37 percent) and education as well as Corona (36 percent each). The main reason for Green voters to vote for this party were the party’s political points of view (44 percent). For 11 percent, the party's work so far was their main voting motive, while for 8 cited the party‘s credibility.

People's Party: Top issues Corona, jobs and economy, immigration

During the election campaign, Conservative voters discussed Corona (47 percent), jobs and the economy (33 percent), and immigration and integration (31 percent) the most. Asked about the main reason for voting the Conservative Party, 26 percent cited the party's political points of view, 10 percent the top candidate and 9 percent the party's work so far.

Liberals with Corona, education and economy

Top issues for Liberal (NEOS) voters were the Corona pandemic (40 percent), education and schools (35 percent) asl well as jobs and the economy (30 percent). For 30 percent of the Liberal voters, the political points of were the main reason for their vote choice, 12 percent wanted the Liberals to be part of the upcoming city government, and for 10 percent credibility was the main voting motive.

Coalition preferences

According to the voters: Which political parties should be represented in the next city government? 36 percent of all voters would like to see a continuation of the coalition between the Social Democrats and the Greens, 14 percent would like the Social Democrats to form a coalition with the Conservatives and 9 percent would like to see a coalition between the Social Democrats and the Liberals.

  • Among the Social Democratic voters 54 percent are in favor of a continuation of the coalition with the Greens, 12 percent would like to switch to the Conservatives and 10 percent would prefer a coalition with the Liberals.
  • Freedom Party voters prefer a coalition between their party and the Conservatives (39 percent), followed by a coalition with the Social Democrats (26 percent) and 5 percent are in favor of a coalition with the Conservatives and the Liberals.
  • Green Party voters most of all want their party to join the Social Democrats and therefore continue the existing coalition (83 percent).  
  • Conservative voters are mainly in favor of a coalition with the Social Democrats (46 percent), 10 percent prefer a coalition of their party with the Liberals and 8 percent want a coalition with the Freedom Party.
  • Liberal voters prefer to see their party in a coalition with the Social Democrats (46 percent), followed by a tripartite alliance Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals (12 percent). Nine percent support a coalition with the Conservatives. 

Voter Transitions

The SORA analysis shows voter transitions from the local council election 2015. Major trends are:

  • The Social-Democrats mobilise 69% of their voters from 2015. Substantial gains of 32.000 votes come from the Freedom Party. 12.000 votes from 2015 are lost to the People's Party (Conservatives)
  • The Freedom Party mobilies only 20% of their voters from 2015. Are large proportion (101.000) has not turned out this time, another 43.000 votes are lost to the Conservatives, 32.000 to the Social-Democrats and 17.000 former party leader HC Strache.
  • The Greens gain 10.000 additional votes first-time voters and non-voters from 2015, 7.000 from the Liberals (NEOS), 5.000 from Social-Democrats and 4.000 from Conservativs.
  • The Conservatives mobilise nearly three quarters (73%) of their voters from 2015 again. Substantial gains come from the Freedom Party (43.000), 10.000 votes are lost to the Liberals.
  • The Liberals (NEOS) gain votes from the Conservatives and the Greens (10.000 each) but also lose 12.000 votes to the Conservatives.
  • Voters of Team HC Strache come mainly from the Freedom Party.