What are the results?
On 29 September 2019 Austria elected a new National Assembly after only two years. Despite over one million requested postal voting cards this year’s voter turnout is forecast to be 75,5 % and thus lies around 5 % below the electoral participation of 2017.
According to the preliminary results the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) achieved 37,5 % with a plus of 5,7 % compared to the last elections and therefore emerges as the winner. The biggest increase was attained by the Greens with a growth rate of 10 %. Having achieved their best result with a percentage of 13,8 % they will re-enter the National Council. Voter transition analyses show that the biggest inflow comes from former voters of the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ). With an increase of 2,8 % and a total of 8,1 % the NEOS realised the best ever result of a liberal party in Austria.
Compared to the above-mentioned parties, the SPÖ suffered substantial losses. With a minus of 5,6% the party achieved its lowest percentage in history with only 21,2 %. According to analyses around 84 000 former SPÖ voters have not taken part in the election. The Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) looses 9,8 % and achieves a total of 16,2 % due to the “Ibiza scandal” and recent accusations of corruption against the previous party leader Heinz-Christian Strache.
Based on the results, various coalition possibilities come into question. One option would be the SPÖ as coalition partner with 112 mandates (required majority in the National Assembly: 92 mandates). However, a coalition between these two parties could prove challenging as a result of their predominant disagreements. Going into a coalition with the Greens could be a possible scenario, due to the innovative character of this duo. A revival of an ÖVP-FPÖ government seems unlikely after the FPÖ’s poor results. Moreover, the Secretary General and the Chairman of the FPÖ, Harald Vilimsky and Herbert Kickl stated that they do not see a government order. A three-party coalition comprising the ÖVP, the Greens and the NEOS seems hardly likely resulting from numerous obstacles. One last option, which has not been excluded by the former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, would be a minority government. According to Kurz, this solution seems plausible in case of unbridgeable differences emerging during the talks with the other parties.