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Communist Party of Austria

Right gains in Austria's paradoxical election result

By Walter Baier

October 2, 2013 -- Transform! -- The outcome of the September 29, 2013, Austrian parliamentary elections must seem paradoxical all across Europe.

Despite the – by comparison – favourable economic data, the ruling “Great Coalition” of Social Democrats (SPÖ) and conservative Peoples Party (ÖVP) was punished. Its share of the votes fell back from 55 per cent to less than 51. The SPÖ at 27 per cent remained the largest party, however is now sitting in a parliament with four right-wing parties, which hold 108 out of 183 seats altogether.

The German-nationalist, racist Freedom Party (FPÖ) scored better than expected at 20.6 (+3.0%) per cent. It managed to retrieve the majority of the votes it had lost after 2005 lost to the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ), which had been founded by Jörg Haider. In Styria, however, the FPÖ topped the poll to become the party with the most votes, spectacularly gaining from the electorate of both the ÖVP and SPÖ. Notably among workers and employees, the FPÖ replaced the SPÖ as the strongest party.

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