Pre-election debate in Austria shows People’s Party as clear winner

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leadingLocal Austrian television aired on September 24, 2019 TV a pre-election debate of leading representatives  of the major austrian parties.

During the discussion, a flash pool had been carried out by an independent survey  office, Research Affairs. It came out that the Volkspartei (People’s Party or ÖVP) candidate former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz turned out as the clear winner oft he debate. 35% of the interviewees were satisfied with the performance oft he former Chancellor while 25% got Norbert Hofer, FPÖ candidate.

Pamela Rendi Wagner, from the Social Democratic Party was the most aggressive among the other candidates. Rendi-Wagner was seen by respondents as the most vulnerable. Kurz won categories such as “competent” or “most clearly in the message”. The Green Werner Kogler, however, scored with humor and was therefore the “most authentic”.

The government fell, new elections were called, and Austrians will vote on September 29, 2019. A total of eight parties are running on the national level, another five parties regionally. Each is looking for the largest possible slice of the pie, comprised of 6.4 million voting Austrians – and parties must cross the 4% threshold to enter the National Assembly The date for early elections triggered by the so-called “Ibiza-gate” scandal which brought down Austria’s government:

aggressiveKurz and his People’s Party (OeVP), by contrast, won a thumping victory at the last European elections and have a commanding lead in the polls.

If 32-year-old Kurz remains in such a commanding position at the end of the campaign he may be able to form a new coalition with either the liberal NEOS party or the Greens, both on nine percent in the same poll.

In the Austrian Parliamentary Election 2017, the Austrian People’s Party gained 31.5 percent of the vote, which equated to 62 seats in the Austrian parliament.

In a move considered controversial by some, the Freedom Party entered a coalition with the People’s Party.

Austria’s right-wing Freedom Party elected Norbert Hofer as its new leader this weekend, who reportedly won with 98.25 percent of members votes.

Mr Hofer replaces Heinz-Christian Strache, who resigned as vice-chancellor in May after allegedly being caught on video offering public contracts to a Russian businesswoman in return for political backing.

The scandal led to Strache’s resignation, and the subsequent collapse of his party’s coalition with the centre-right People’s Party.

Kurz was then removed in a no-confidence vote, and a non-partisan interim Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein is currently running the country.

The two parties were in coalition for 18 months.

Hector Pascua,

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