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National Council election 1949

The National Council election of 9 October 1949 was the first contested by the FPÖ’s predecessor party, the Verband der Unabhängigen (League of Independents, or VdU), which formally competed as the Wahlpartei der Unabhängigen (Election Party of Independents, or WdU). At its first attempt, it achieved 11.7 per cent of the vote and 16 seats.

The ÖVP again won the election under Leopold Figl; the SPÖ came second.

Brief description of the election campaign

In 1949, around 90 per cent of the 570,000 former National Socialists had been categorised as “Lesser Offenders” and were again eligible to vote, which generated a new electoral potential that was courted not only by the ÖVP and SPÖ, but also by the Verband der Unabhängigen, the predecessor party of the FPÖ.

In 1947, the KPÖ had left the all-party concentration government and the first "Grand Coalition" had been formed. At this, the VdU’s first election, black-red dominance was already an issue; the VdU’s slogan, reproduced on its election posters, was “Recht, Sauberkeit, Leistung” ("Law, propriety, merit").

Election result

The following parties and electoral lists stood for election at the National Council election of 9 October 1949:

Österreichische Volkspartei (ÖVP)
Sozialistische Partei Österreichs (SPÖ)
Wahlpartei der Unabhängigen (WdU)
Kommunistische Partei Österreichs u. Linkssozialisten (Linksblock)
Demokratische Union (DU)
Vierte Partei
Demokraticna fronta delovnegna ljudstva (DF)
Demokratische Partei Österreichs (DPÖ)
Wirtschaftspartei der Haus- und Grundbesitzer (Wirtschaftspartei)
Österreichische Patriotische Union (ÖPU)

Parties

Votes

Vote share 1949

±

Seats 1949

±

ÖVP

1,846,581

44.0%

−5.8%

77

−8

SPÖ

1,623,524

38.7%

−5.9%

64

−9

VdU

489,273

11.7%

n.a.

16

+16

KPÖ

213,066

5.1%

−0.3% 

5

+1

Government formation

he ÖVP and SPÖ formed another “Grand Coalition” under Federal Chancellor Leopold Figl.

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