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National Council election 1956

The National Council election of 13 May 1956 was the first to be contested by the FPÖ, which had been founded shortly before, and for which its Chairman, Anton Reinthaller, served as the party’s lead candidate. The party won 6.52 per cent of the vote, which translated into six seats.

The clear election victor was the ÖVP under Federal Chancellor Julius Raab. The SPÖ, led by Adolf Schärf, had to be content with second place. The KPÖ only just succeeded in re-entering the National Council.

Brief description of the election campaign

The National Council election of 1956 was the first to take place after the end of the occupation period in Austria and also the first nationwide election contested by the recently-founded FPÖ. Disputes within its predecessor party, the Verband der Unabhängigen (League of Independents, or VdU) had led to the formation of the FPÖ, but all VdU MPs then switched as one to this new party. Accordingly, it proved possible for the Third Force to recover, albeit to a level below that achieved by the predecessor party. The FPÖ’s central campaign message was “Gegen Rot und Schwarz – die Dritte Kraft” (Against red and blue – the Third Force”).

Election result

The following parties and electoral lists stood for election at the National Council election of 13 May 1956:

 

Österreichische Volkspartei (ÖVP)
Sozialistische Partei Österreichs (SPÖ)
Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPÖ)
Kommunisten und Linkssozialisten (KuL)
Freie Arbeiterbewegung Österreichs
Partei der Vernunft
Ergokratische Partei
Österreichische Patriotische Union
Österreichische Mittelstandspartei
Parlamentarische Vertretung der Wahlverhinderten, Nichtwähler und ungültigen Stimmen in Österreich

Parties

Votes

Vote share 1956

±

Seats 1956

±

ÖVP

1,999,986

46.0%

+4.7%

82

+8

SPÖ

1,873,295

43.0%

+0.9%

74

+1

FPÖ

283,749

6.5%

−4.4%

6

−8

KuL

192,438

4.42%

−0.86% 

3

−1

Government formation

Following its clear election victory, the ÖVP and SPÖ formed another coalition government, over which Julius Raab again presided as Federal Chancellor.

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