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Austrian news October 19, 2020

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

A very welcome post from GregTimo

Small good news. In Vienna, Austria, support for the extreme right has fallen by about 2/3rds combined (the bigger FPO reported losing 4/5ths of its actual votes In Der Standard below). Corruption scandals and a major split led to major abstentions it has been reported (also a shift to the conservative OVP which stole it’s anti immigrant clothes to an extent). A welcome setback though in the country where the populist extreme right have been strong for decades. FPO is the main extreme right party, HC a splitter party. SPO the Social Democrats, Grune=Greens , OVP conservatives, Neos = Centrist (neo-)Liberals, Links = Left alliance A large Postal vote count is nearly complete, but the final result is not expected to be much different than reported belowEnglish language ‘liberal’ sounding outlet (an American emigre runs it) https://metropole.at/vienna-election-results-2020/

A ‘live ticker’ in German (‘social liberal’ outlet according it’s wiki) https://www.derstandard.at/jetzt/livebericht/2000120892953/wien-wahl-2020vorlaeufiges-ergebnis-ist-da?responsive=false
More in German, on the abstensions (Turnout is reported down 9.5% on wiki, even SPO losing votes despite a small increase in % ). https://www.derstandard.at/story/2000120862888/warum-so-viele-wiener-die-wahl-verweigerten
While the result was seen as an overall Social Democrat victory in their long time stronghold, Simultaneous District elections resulted in small breakthroughs for the latest incarnation of a Left alliance, Links (which includes the main Communist party, KPO, long allied with the German Left party). A sort of rising from the ashes in Vienna (KPO’s last stronghold is elsewhere around Graz), but hardly a major advance. The Left went from only 1% to around 2% wiki reports below https://www.derstandard.at/story/2000120834645/wien-wahl-2020-mehr-rot-in-den-bezirken-mit-tuerkisen And the usual wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Viennese_state_election

On KPO’s long stagnation and struggle for electoral survival https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communist_Party_of_Austria Jacobin basically puff piece on Links not mentioning it is an alliance not a new party. They have yet to follow up https://jacobinmag.com/2020/09/red-vienna-austria-social-democrats-links-city-council No proper analysis is English I know of, the Left’s sites https://links-wien.at/https://www.facebook.com/linkswien A wiki in German https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/LINKS_(Politische_Partei)
On the national polls a radically different picture with the SPO decline yet to be halted (lingering around 19-20%), but the Greens in government with the OVP since 2019 still doing well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_next_Austrian_legislative_election
However the SPO despite it’s national troubles and overall lameness is not going away anytime soon I would conclude. The apparently still KPO dominated Left should have reversed it’s decline before now you’d imagine. All in all a hard to understand situation lacking analysis Thin as it is, an old Jacobin analysis from Feb from a Left source concentrating on the triangulating centrist Greens https://jacobinmag.com/2020/01/austria-greens-peoples-party-sebastion-kurz-coalition 2019 national election analysis from same source on the broad center-left debacle, except for the Greens https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/10/austria-elections-peoples-party-greensThin analysis from the German public broadcaster DWhttps://www.dw.com/en/vienna-voters-deal-blow-to-the-far-right-in-local-elections/a-55236783

2 analyses from the Social Liberal Euroactiv January on the SPO Provincial win due to local factors (A Danish SocDem style swing right on immigration but lean left on social welfare issues) https://www.euractiv.com/section/elections/news/could-spos-burgenland-win-be-beacon-of-red-hope-for-austrias-social-democrats/ On the Vienna election, Oct 12 https://www.euractiv.com/section/elections/news/wer-wird-wien-regieren/ It would seem that these local bosses now dominate the national SPO party, especially the Vienna mayor and may push out the unpopular national leader, Pamela Rendi-Wagner, but little is written in English about Vienna’s mayor Ludwig https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Ludwig (his coming from the social housing system being the only salient fact there)
I assume that the SPO and Greens both are benefiting from the psychological effect of the Pandemic where anyway competent rulers are being rewarded. The famous (but I assume degraded by neo-liberalism) Vienna social housing model may be a factor in sustaining SPO too. The reports on Der Standard indicate the SPO regaining control of those locales where the FPO had overtaken them in some in the last election. But I remain overall scratching my head.

One more kink to these elections. In the District councils where non Austrian residents can vote, a marginally better result for the Left/Links and worse for the SocDem SPO. The main vote was for the city municipal council which doubles up as a State council. Austria being a federal state, much like Germany. In German 


1. Paul Culloty - October 19, 2020

As stated in the OP, Kurz has been more vocal on the questions of immigration and Islam than the OVP had been previously, moving the Overton window sharply to the right, though Strache’s haplessness was undoubtedly a factor in the FPO decline. Much like in Germany, the Socialists are essentially on life-support, and it’s difficult to see their room for manoeuvre unless they move further to the left and leave the moderate vote to the Greens.

Liked by 2 people

2. tafkaGW - October 20, 2020

Thanks for that Greg. The Austrian local elections had passed me by.

Final results in Vienna:

41,6 %
+2 %









I assume the BIER party stands on a platform of free beer for all!

Liked by 1 person

3. tafkaGW - October 20, 2020

Wikipedia tells me that the BIER party has indeed an interest in the consumption of hoppy liquids. Founded by the punk musician Marco Pogo.

Perhaps one for This Weekend I’m Listening To…

Liked by 1 person

4. Colm B - October 20, 2020

Thanks to GregTimo for the detailed account and all the links. Unfortunately my school German doesn’t go beyond ordering a few beers!

Liked by 2 people

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