Elections in Austria

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This article provides information on elections and election results in Austria.

On a federal level, there are two main elections: for head of state (Federal President) every six years, and for the 183 seats of the National Council (Nationalrat) every five years by proportional representation.

Austria has a multi-party system. From 1945 to 1986 Austria had two main parties, with a third party also winning seats in the National Council. Since 1986 there have been generally four parties, for a few years even five. At least 4% of the popular vote, or a parliamentary seat in one of the regional constituencies, is needed for representation in the National Council.[1]

In some cases, a referendum can be called on by the Austrian Parliament.

The voting age has recently been lowered from 18 to 16 in all federal elections, following some states which had lowered it for state and local elections before that.

Eligibility[edit]

Austrian citizens who are at least 16 years old on the day of election are eligible to vote at all elections, citizens who are 18 years or older may stand at elections. Additionally citizens of European Union member states with a permanent residence in Austria may vote at European Union and municipal elections.[2] Citizens who are sentenced to more than one year of imprisonment lose their voting rights.[3] An exception to the rule is the presidential election, where the minimum age to stand as candidate is 35. Until 2011, members of current or former ruling houses were ineligible for the office.[4]

Latest elections[edit]

2013 Parliamentary election[edit]

e • d Summary of the 29 September 2013 National Council of Austria election results
Parties Votes +/− % +/− Seats +/−
Social Democratic Party of Austria (Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs) 1,258,605 −171,601 26.82 −2.44 52 −5
Austrian People's Party (Österreichische Volkspartei) 1,125,876 −143,780 23.99 −1.99 47 −4
Freedom Party of Austria (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs) 962,313 +105,284 20.51 +2.97 40 +6
The Greens – The Green Alternative (Die Grünen – Die Grüne Alternative) 582,657 +72,721 12.42 +1.99 24 +4
Team Stronach (Team Stronach für Österreich) 268,679 New 5.73 New 11 New
NEOS – The New Austria (NEOS – Das Neue Österreich) 232,946 New* 4.96 New* 9 New*
Alliance for the Future of Austria (Bündnis Zukunft Österreich) 165,746 -357,187 3.53 –7.17 0 –21
Communist Party of Austria (Kommunistische Partei Österreichs) 48,175 +10,813 1.03 +0.27 0
Pirate Party of Austria (Piratenpartei Österreichs) 36,265 New 0.77 New 0 New
Christian Party of Austria (Christliche Partei Österreichs) 6,647 –24,433 0.14 –0.50 0
Others 4,998 0.11 0
Invalid/blank votes 89,503 –14,140
Total 4,782,410 –208,542 100.0 183
Registered voters/turnout 6,384,308 74.91 –3.90
Source: Austrian Interior Ministry

2010 Presidential election[edit]

e • d Summary of the 25 April 2010 Austrian presidential election results
Candidates (nominating parties) Votes %
Heinz Fischer (Social Democratic Party of Austria – nominally independent) 2,508,373 79.33
Barbara Rosenkranz (Freedom Party of Austria) 481,923 15.24
Rudolf Gehring (Christian Party of Austria) 171,668 5.43
Valid votes (turnout 53.57%) 3,161,964 100.00
Invalid votes 242,682 7.13%
Total votes 3,404,646 53.57%
Eligible voters 6,355,800
Source: Federal Ministry for the Interior

Past elections[edit]

Referendums[edit]

Austrian constitution defines two types of referendums on the federal level: binding referendum and non-binding referendum.

Binding referendum[edit]

Binding referendum is mandatory:

  • if the President should be removed from office before the end of his term (Article 60, Section 6 of the Federal Constitution), and
  • in case of comprehensive change of the Federal Constitution (Article 44, Section 3 of the Federal Constitution).

Binding referendum is facultative (not mandatory) in case of non-comprehensive changes in the Federal Constitution. Such facultative referendum is to be conducted if at least one third of the members of the National Council or the Federal Council requests it.

There was only one binding referendum in post-1945 Austria: European Union membership referendum was called because accession to European Union was deemed to be a comprehensive change to Constitution.

Non-binding referendum[edit]

The National Council has the power to call on a non-binding referendum on matters of great importance. Such referendum is called by majority of members of the National Council. Results of such a referendum are advisory. There were two such referendums in post-1945 Austria:

In both cases the "no" option won, and in both cases the National Council accepted the results of the referendum and acted accordingly.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]