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Federal presidential election 1951

At the federal presidential election of 6 May 1951, the FPÖ’s predecessor party, the VdU, nominated Dr Burghard Breitner as its candidate. He achieved 15.41 per cent, about 600,000 votes.

At Austria’s first popular federal presidential election, Theodor Körner (SPÖ) defeated the ÖVP’s candidate, Heinrich Gleißner, at the run-off election and thus became Federal President.

Brief description of the election campaign and its outcome

The first Federal President had in 1945 not yet been elected by "popular vote", but by the Parliament, so the 1951 federal presidential election marked the first direct election of its kind in the Second Republic.

The candidate of the Verband des Unabhängigen (VdU) was Dr Burghard Breitner, a medical practitioner who enjoyed great popularity as the “Angel of Siberia”, for having during the First World War, whilst himself a prisoner of war, worked as a doctor in Russia.

06.05.1951

Party

Election of the Austrian Federal President

Heinrich Gleißner

ÖVP

1,725,451 Votes

40.14 per cent

Theodor Körner

SPÖ

1,682,881 Votes

39.15 per cent

Burghard Breitner

VdU

662,501 Votes

15.41 per cent

Gottlieb Fiala

KPÖ

219,969 Votes

5.12 per cent

Johannes Ude

Independent

5,413 Votes

0.13 per cent

Ludovica Hainisch-Marchet

Independent

2,132 Votes

0.05 per cent

27.05.1951

Party

Election of the Austrian Federal President – Run-off election

Theodor Körner

SPÖ

2,178,631 Votes

52.06 per cent

Heinrich Gleißner

ÖVP

2,006,322 Votes

47.94 per cent

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