Doskozil’s Big Win For the SPÖ in Burgenland

Both major parties gained votes: the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) won an absolute majority of the seats receiving 49.94% of the popular vote, up 8.2%, while the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) came in second with 31%, 1,5% more than in the previous election. Meanwhile, the Freedom Party (FPÖ) lost two seats, receiving under 10% of the vote. 

Did the SPÖ discover a new formula for success?

The win for the SPÖ came despite its lack of decisive positioning on the national level. Since 2015, the party has internally struggled with its stance on migration policy, remaining cautiously ambiguous. In the last year, the SPÖ lost votes in every election last year, except Vorarlberg, where it gained less than one percent. Now, state party leader Doskozil’s positions are seen as a possible winning formula for the SPÖ: right-leaning migration policy, leftist social policy and a pragmatic take on economic issues.

Former Defense Minister and Burgenland police chief, Doskozil adopted a restrictive stance on migration in the wake of the 2015 refugee crisis, criticizing German chancellor Angela Merkel’s open border policy. Since then, he has made a point of remaining consistent in his migration policy.

Youth, environment and healthcare

However, it was not migration alone that swayed this election. Analysis by Austrian research institute SORA concluded that such topics as “opportunity for young adults”, “environmental protection”, and “healthcare” are increasingly taking center stage. The election also proved to be character driven, as 37% of SPÖ supporters admitted to voting for the party solely because Doskozil was heading the ticket.

Many saw Doskozil’s triumph in Burgenland as a possible segue into national politics. Doskozil himself called the win “a sign of life” for the SPÖ: “This momentum is something special,” he said, “even if it was only in the small state of Burgenland.“

Sophie Spiegelberger
Born in New York, raised in Moscow, Sophie now lives in Vienna where she is a freelance graphic designer, contributing writer at Forbes and director of communications for Democrats Abroad Austria.

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 | Higher Unemployment

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.

Transylvania | Over the River and Through the Woods

With a total area of over 100,000 km2, modern day Transylvania is the largest region of Romania, and, by itself, larger than Austria.

More Current Than Ever, Nina Simone – Four Women Brings Down the House at ...

A stellar cast and memorable songs transports the Civil Rights movement to the #BlackLivesMatter era

Election Fever in Vienna

As the city prepares to go to the polls, the streets are plastered with party propaganda posters. Michael Ludwig will almost certainly remain mayor, but his potential partners are pitching for a piece of power.

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.


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