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A lawyer and formerly a prominent member of Jörg Haider's Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), in 1993 Schmidt was one of a group of politicians who, because of Haider's increasingly right-wing verbal politics, seceded from the FPÖ and founded the Liberal Forum.
From 1990 until 1994 Schmidt was Third President of the National Council of Austria. Also, she twice ran for Austrian Presidency both in 1992 when she was nominated by the FPÖ and in 1998 by the Liberal Forum.
In 2008, Schmidt staged a brief comeback as leading candidate for the Liberal Forum. Following the party's disastrous showing and failure to re-enter parliament, Schmidt announced her final retirement from politics.
- "Heide Schmidt schließt ihr Institut". Salzburger Nachrichten (in German). 22 December 2009. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
- Liberal pioneer Heide Schmidt returns as LIF top dog
- https://web.archive.org/web/20051015022228/http://www.ioge.at/ (Institut für eine offene Gesellschaft)
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