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National Council election 2019

At the National Council election of 29 September 2019, Norbert Hofer and Herbert Kickl stood as an FPÖ lead candidate duo. The FPÖ achieved 16.17 per cent of the vote (a minus of 9.80 percentage points), which translated into 31 seats (-20).

The big winner of the election was the ÖVP, which came first by a large margin, and the Greens, who managed to re-enter the National Council. The SPÖ once again had to accept significant losses. Following the Ibiza-Affair and the expenses scandal surrounding its former Chairman, the FPÖ lost about a third of its voters. The Liste Jetzt (previously Liste Pilz), failed to re-enter the National Council.

Brief description of the election campaign

After two years of black-blue, or turquoise-blue (i.e. ÖVP-FPÖ) government, it was again Sebastian Kurz who triggered a premature National Council election. The reason for this was the so-called “Ibiza Affair”.

For the FPÖ, the 2019 election campaign was no easy undertaking, not least since the former Party Chairman Heinz-Christian Strache, who had come to grief over the “Ibiza Affair”, was expelled from the FPÖ because of alleged inconsistencies in his expenses claims and behaviour detrimental to the party.

In addition to emphasising the tried-and-tested topics of immigration and social justice, the Freedom Party campaign also called for its coalition with the ÖVP to be re-elected: “Koalition fortsetzen” (“Continue the coalition”) was a key slogan, but an additional campaign and poster topic was a warning of a black-green coalition.

In terms of personnel, the Freedom Party backed a dual leadership of Norbert Hofer, who had in 2016 already had success as the federal presidential candidate, and Herbert Kickl, who achieved high popularity as Minister for the Interior.

Election result

The following parties and electoral lists, among others, stood for election at the National Council election of 2019:

Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs (SPÖ)
Österreichische Volkspartei (ÖVP)           
Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPÖ)
NEOS – Das Neue Österreich und Liberales Forum (NEOS)
Jetzt – Liste Pilz (JETZT)
Die Grünen – Die Grüne Alternative (GRÜNE)
Kommunistische Partei Österreichs (KPÖ)

Parties

Votes

Vote share 2019

±

Seats 2019

±

ÖVP

1,789,417

37.46%

+5.99%

71

+9

SPÖ

1,011,868

21.18%

-5.68%

40

-12

FPÖ

772,666

16.17%

-9.80%

31

-20

GRÜNE

664,055

13.90%

+10.10%

26

+26

NEOS

387,124

8.10%

+2.80%

15

+5

Government formation

The two election winners, the ÖVP and Greens, entered coalition negotiations that resulted in Austria’s first black-green government at federal level.

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