Austria Gets Ready to Vote

With Austrians coming back from their summer holidays, a heated political fall awaits them.

The government fell, new elections were called, and Austrians will vote on September 29, 2019. A total of eight parties are running on the national level, another five parties regionally. Each is looking for the largest possible slice of the pie, comprised of 6.4 million voting Austrians – and parties must cross the 4% threshold to enter the National Assembly (Nationalrat), the lower chamber of Austria’s parliament. In Austria, uniquely in Europe, the voting age is 16.

Because they’re outside parliament, the Greens, the Communists (KPÖ) and the leftist party WANDL each needed to collect more than 2,600 signatures to be entered on the ballot, while the five parties currently in the National Assembly needed only to provide the signatures of their MPs. These include the People’s Party (ÖVP), led by Sebastian Kurz; the Social Democrats (SPÖ), led by Pamela Rendi-Wagner; the Freedom Party (FPÖ), led by Norbert Hofer; the Liberal NEOS, led by Beate Meinl-Reisinger; and the Liste Pilz (JETZT), led by Peter Pilz.

Peering into the Crystal Ball

All current parliamentary parties (excluding JETZT) are expected to return to parliament, and the Greens – who, to the surprise of many, failed to win any parliamentary seats in the last election, have been on the rebound ever since. As of mid-August, polls showed the ÖVP leading with 35%, followed by the SPÖ with 23%, FPÖ 20%, NEOS 8%, Greens 11%, JETZT 1.5%, and all others 1.5%.

Austrians are famously fond of their long summer holidays, so election campaigning won’t kick off until early fall. But summer scandals like Schreddergate, the Casino and Novomatic affair and the ongoing investigation into the Ibiza video are sure to shape campaigns, as will hot topics like affordable housing, the climate crisis, the economy and integration.

It is all but certain that at least two parties will need to join forces to form a working government coalition – but a summer of scandal means tensions are running high – so observers should be prepared for weeks or even months of post-election negotiations.

Benjamin Wolf
Benjamin studied Journalism, History and International Affairs. After stints with Cafébabel in Paris and Arte in Strasbourg, he is now working as managing editor and COO for Metropole in Vienna. Fields of expertise are politics, economics, culture, and history.Photo: Visual Hub

Help us help you

“Strong media and independent journalism are built on the shoulders of subscribers. Your support means the world to us.

Benjamin Wolf
COO & Managing Editor

The coronavirus outbreak affects and challenges your life in big and small ways. Metropole is here for you and we are proud to be your news source during this crisis.

But just as the coronavirus has increased the need for independent journalism, it has also undercut a major revenue source of media companies, ours included – advertising.

We need your support to keep it up – donate or subscribe and #helpushelpyou!

Support Metropole!


 

RECENT Articles

Coronavirus in Austria & Vienna | “Corona-Bonus” For Retirees

The coronavirus has arrived in Austria. Here’s all you need to know about current measures, including where to get help, information and tips – updated regularly.

Trump Praises Austrian “Forest Cities” With Exploding Trees

With some highly unusual comments meant to put California’s environmental management in a bad light, the U.S. president set off a twitter storm of mockery and once again exposed his ignorance of the world.

Hometown Explorers

As travel restrictions eviscerate Vienna’s hospitality sector, the city’s tour guides show locals the oddities, hidden spots and secrets of the city they call home.

How Romanian Artists Found Inspiration in Vienna

Throughout the ages, Vienna was a nexus for the literary, artistic, scientific and cultural creativity of many Romanians.

Torches on the Hill – Ultra-Conservatives March on the Kahlenberg

The Kahlenberg Church stands where an allied army gathered at dawn September 12, 1683 before sweeping down from the hills to break the Turkish siege of Vienna. Today it is both a cause for celebration and a rallying point for dubious arch-conservative fringe groups.

In Safety and Freedom, Romanian Entrepreneurs Found Success in Vienna

Romanians’ entrepreneurial spirit, long suppressed under the communist regime, is experiencing a renaissance – it can be felt even in Vienna.
 

METROPOLE NEWSLETTER

Join over 5,000 Metropolitans, who already get monthly news updates and event invitations.