Austrian legislative election, 2006

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Austrian legislative election, 2006
Austria
2002 ←
1 October 2006
→ 2008

183 seats in the National Council of Austria
92 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  Alfred Gusenbauer 26.10.2008.jpg W Schuessel7.jpg Alexander Van der Bellen1.jpg
Leader Alfred Gusenbauer Wolfgang Schüssel Alexander Van der Bellen
Party SPÖ ÖVP Greens
Leader since 2000 1995 1997
Leader's seat 3C Mostviertel 9E Vienna South-West 9F Vienna North-West
Last election 69 seats, 36.51% 79 seats, 42.30% 17 seats, 9.47%
Seats won 68 66 21
Seat change Decrease 1 Decrease 13 Increase 4
Popular vote 1,663,986 1,616,493 520,130
Percentage 35.34% 34.33% 11.05%
Swing Decrease 1.17% Decrease 7.97% Increase 1.58%

  Fourth party Fifth party
  Strache8.jpg Westi002.jpg
Leader Heinz-Christian Strache Peter Westenthaler
Party FPÖ BZÖ
Leader since 2005 2006
Leader's seat 9D Vienna South 9D Vienna South
Last election 18 seats, 10.01% did not contest
Seats won 21 7
Seat change Increase 3 Increase 7
Popular vote 519,598 193,539
Percentage 11.04% 4.11%
Swing Increase 1.03% Increase 4.11%

Chancellor before election

Wolfgang Schüssel
ÖVP

Elected Chancellor

Alfred Gusenbauer
SPÖ

Coat of arms of Austria.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Austria
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The 2006 general election for the National Council in Austria was held on 1 October 2006.

Following the Austrian legislative election, 1999, the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) had formed a coalition government with the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), and later the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ). As a result of the 2006 election, the ÖVP-BZÖ coalition lost their majority in parliament. After three months of negotiations, it was announced on January 8 that the SPÖ and ÖVP would form a grand coalition, with SPÖ leader Alfred Gusenbauer becoming the next Chancellor.

Parties[edit]

Parliamentary parties[edit]

Austrian People's Party[edit]

The Austrian People's Party contested the election with Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel as its leader. It was the first federal election in Austria since 1970 the party entered as strongest party. Slogans used by the party in the campaign were "Secure. Austria" (Sicher. Österreich), "Austria. Here, we are well." (Österreich. Hier geht's uns gut.) and "Austria. Stays better." (Österreich. Bleibt besser.) They also attacked the Social Democratic Party, attesting them a lack of economic competence, repeatedly bringing up the so-called "BAWAG-Affair". The ÖVP cited a rising number of academics and shorter study periods, according to them because of the introduction of tuition fees, as some of their successes. They also capitalized on their women’s policies, including being the first Austrian cabinet with half the ministers being women and appointing a woman as president of the Supreme Court for the first time.

Social Democratic Party of Austria[edit]

The Social Democratic Party was led by Alfred Gusenbauer in the election campaign. Themes of their campaign included a rising in youth unemployment, criticism of the Schüssel government's pension reform as well as the order of Eurofighter Typhoon fighters which they wanted to cancel in the case of them entering government. They also criticized the abolishment of the Ministry for Women and promised to abolish tuition fees for universities.

After coming in first in opinion polls for a long time, from March 2006 onwards the Austrian People's Party was ahead of them. The main reason for this was believed to be the "BAWAG-Affair": the Bank for Work and Economy (Bank für Arbeit und Wirtschaft), in which the Social Democratic dominated Austrian Trade Union Federation held a majority, was hurled into turbulences, leading to disputes in the party.

On 3 September 2006 the Social Democratic Party and the Liberal Forum formed an electoral alliance with the goal to prevent a further ÖVP-led government.

Freedom Party of Austria[edit]

The Freedom Party of Austria campaigned with party leader Heinz-Christian Strache as their leading candidate.

Media considered the initiative "Stay free Austria" (Volksbegehren "Österreich bleib frei") as start of their campaign. Some points of their party programme they highlighted were: No accession of Turkey to the European Union and rejection of the European Constitution, no rising of Austria's contributions to the European Union, aggravation of citizenship laws, stopping immigration and fighting abuse of asylum.

The Greens - The Green Alternative[edit]

Leading candidate for the Green Party was party leader Alexander van der Bellen.

The Greens started their pre-election campaign in May 2006 with the presentation of two "Black Books". The "Black Book black" concentrated on their criticism of the People's Party government, the "Black Book red" criticized the opposition performance of the Social Democratic Party. The Greens accused both parties of violations of human rights, with their main criticism being the 2005 reform of the asylum and foreigner's rights laws, to which the Social Democratic Party had agreed. Central to their campaign were promotion of alternative energy, improving the situation of working women, introduction of a demand orientated basic social security (Grundsicherung), an education reform and introduction of a point-system for immigration, favouring highly qualified immigrants.[1]

They stated abolishment of tuition fees for universities and cancelling the order for Eurofighter as conditions for entering a government.

Alliance for the Future of Austria[edit]

The BZÖ entered the campaign with Peter Westenthaler, former floor leader of the Freedom Party, as its leading candidate.

Peter Westenthaler was elected as party leader on a special party summit on 23 June 2006.[2] The party contested the election as "The Freedom-minded – Westenthaler's List – BZÖ" (Die Freiheitlichen – Liste Westenthaler – BZÖ). After the Freedom Party obtained a preliminary injunction, the BZÖ had to remove the phrase "The Freedom-minded" from its billboards – it remained on ballot papers nonetheless.

The party presented an election programme with the title "10 points against a shift to the left in Austria". Policies included: lowering of number of foreigners by 30%, limits for the share of non-native German speakers in classes and termination of the European Union's accession talks with Turkey.

On 25 September, six days before the election, Minister of Justice Karin Gastinger, deputy leader of the BZÖ and the party's leading candidate in Styria announced her leaving the party. As reason for her decision she stated that she "doesn’t want to be active in a political movement that is xenophobic, that operates with fear".[3]

Extraparliamentary parties[edit]

Communist Party of Austria[edit]

Leading candidate for the Communist Party of Austria was Mirko Messner. Hoping for a basic mandate in the constituency Graz, the Communist Party made heavy use of the Styrian politician Ernest Kaltenegger, who managed to secure one of the best election results in the history of the party when gaining 20% of the votes in the municipal elections in Graz. Points of their election campaign included a tax for the rich as well as higher minimal pensions and wages.

Dr. Martin's List – For Democracy, Control, Justice[edit]

Hans-Peter Martin, MEP, announced in July 2006 that he intended to run with his own party. He concentrated on criticizing the established parties and trying to attract protest votes. Due to a limit on party’s short names on ballot papers to five letters the party ran as MATIN.

Other Parties[edit]

Five parties managed to secure enough signatures to run in some of the regional constituencies:

Summary of results[edit]

  • The ÖVP lost many of the votes they had taken from the FPÖ in the 2002 election.
  • The Austrian Green Party received more than 11% of the votes and pulled ahead of the Freedom Party.
  • The FPÖ increased their share of votes slightly but missed third place by about 500 votes.
  • The BZÖ, which had split off from the FPÖ in 2005, crossed the threshold of 4% and will be represented in the new parliament.
  • The list of Hans Peter Martin received 2.8%. Both his list and the KPÖ are below the 4% threshold that is necessary for parliamentary representation.
  • The Liberal Forum decided not to stand in the election, citing the tight schedule as well as the lack of finances and a suitable party leader. However, on 3 September 2006 the SPÖ announced an electoral alliance with the LIF (some of the LIF's candidates will stand on the SPÖ's party list, ensuring that at least the LIF's chairman Alexander Zach will be a member of the next parliament).


e • d Summary of the 1 October 2006 National Council of Austria election results
Parties Votes +/− % +/− Seats +/−
Social Democratic Party of Austria (Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs) 1,663,986 −128,513 35.34 −1.17 68 (67) −1
Austrian People's Party (Österreichische Volkspartei) 1,616,493 −460,340 34.33 −7.97 66 −13
The Greens – The Green Alternative (Die Grünen – Die Grüne Alternative) 520,130 +55,150 11.05 +1.58 21 +4
Freedom Party of Austria (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs) 519,598 +28,270 11.04 +1.03 21 +3
The Freedom-minded – Westenthaler's List – BZÖ (Die Freiheitlichen – Liste Westenthaler – BZÖ) [r 1] 193,539 * 4.11 * 7 +7
Dr. Martin's List – For Democracy, Control, Justice (Liste Dr. Martin – Für Demokratie, Kontrolle, Gerechtigkeit) 131,688 * 2.80 * *
Communist Party of Austria (Kommunistische Partei Österreichs) 47,578 +20,010 1.01 +0.45 ±0
EU Withdrawal – Neutral Free Austria (EU-Austritt – Neutrales Freies Österreich) [r 2] 10,594 * 0.23 * *
Socialist Left Party, List against Capitalism and Racism (Sozialistische LinksPartei, Liste gegen Kapitalismus und Rassismus[r 3] 2,257 −1,649 0.05 −0.03 ±0
Certainly – Absolutely – Independent, Franz Radinger (Sicher – Absolut – Unabhängig, Franz Radinger) [r 4] 1,514 * 0.03 * *
IVE INITIATIVE 2000 (IVE INITIATIVE 2000) [r 5] 592 * 0.01 * *
List Strong (Liste Stark) [r 4] 312 * 0.01 * *
Liberal Forum (Liberales Forum) [r 6] — (1)
Invalid/blank votes 85,499
Total (turnout 78.48%; −5.8%) 4,793,780 100.0 183
Notes:
  1. ^ Stood as "The Freedom-Minded in Carinthia – Jörg Haider's List – BZÖ" (Die Freiheitlichen in Kärnten – Liste Jörg Haider – BZÖ) in Carinthia.
  2. ^ Stood only in Carinthia, Salzburg, Tyrol, Vienna and Vorarlberg.
  3. ^ Stood only in Vienna.
  4. ^ a b Stood only in Carinthia.
  5. ^ Stood only in Burgenland.
  6. ^ Did not stand as an independent party in the election, representatives elected on the Social Democratic Party's list. Effectively, one of the Social Democratic Party's 68 seats is a representative of the Liberal Forum.

* Did not run in 2002

Source: BMI
Popular Vote
SPÖ
  
35.34%
ÖVP
  
34.33%
GRÜNE
  
11.04%
FPÖ
  
11.03%
BZÖ
  
4.11%
MARTIN
  
2.79%
KPÖ
  
1.01%
Other
  
0.30%

Maps[edit]

Strongest party by constituency
Strongest party by municipality (For Vienna: districts)


Opinion Polls[edit]

Source Date ÖVP SPÖ FPÖ Greens BZÖ H.-P. Martin
NEWS-Market 27 September 2006 38% 35% 10% 10% 3% 3%
Profil-OGM 23 September 2006 37% 35% 10% 11% 3% 3%
ÖSTERREICH-Gallup 22 September 2006 38% 35% 10% 10% 3% 4%
NEWS-Market 20 September 2006 39% 34% 9% 11% 3% 3%
ÖSTERREICH-Gallup 19 September 2006 38% 35% 10% 11% 3% 3%
Profil-OGM 16 September 2006 38% 35% 10% 10% 3% 3%
ÖSTERREICH-Gallup 12 September 2006 39% 35% 8% 10% 3% 4%
IGF 11 September 2006 39% 34% 8% 11% 3% 4%
ÖSTERREICH-Gallup 9 September 2006 38% 35% 7% 12% 3% 4%
Profil-OGM 9 September 2006 38% 35% 9% 10% 2% 5%
NEWS/Market 7 September 2006 38% 34% 8% 11% 3% 5%
Kurier/Integral 3 September 2006 37% 35% 8% 11% 4% 5%
ÖSTERREICH-Gallup 31 August 2006 37% 35% 7% 11% 4% 4%
NEWS-Market 30 August 2006 39% 35% 7% 11% 3% 4%
Profil-OGM 26 August 2006 39% 35% 7% 11% 3% 4%
NEWS/Market 23 August 2006 38% 36% 7% 10% 4% 4%
NEWS/Market 16 August 2006 40% 34% 7% 11% 3% 4%
NEWS/Market 2 August 2006 39% 35% 6% 11% 3% 5%
Kurier/Integral 16 July 2006 39% 35% 8% 12% 4%
Profil/OGM 15 July 2006 40% 36% 8% 12% 3%
NEWS/Market 12 July 2006 41% 36% 5% 11% 3% 3%

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2006 Green Party election programme (pdf), in German, retrieved 2010-05-17
  2. ^ NEWS: Westenthaler elected as party leader, in German, retrieved 2010-10-17
  3. ^ Vorarlberg Online: Gastinger leaves BZÖ, in German, retrieved 2010-05-17

External links[edit]

Media related to 2006 Austrian general election at Wikimedia Commons