First mood test for turquoise green «kleinezeitung.at

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In Burgenland, the state parliament will be elected on Sunday. This ballot is also the first mood test for the new turquoise-green federal government. The SPÖ with LH Hans Peter Doskozil (SPÖ) can hope for a – at least a slight – plus after a long series of losses.

10.25 a.m., January 25, 2020

The top candidates for the Burgenland state election - Manfrd Kölly (LBL), Johannes Tschürtz (FPÖ), Regina Petrik (Greens) Hans Peter Doskozil (SPÖ), Thomas Steiner (ÖVP) and Eduard Posch (NEOS)
The top candidates for the Burgenland state election – Manfrd Kölly (LBL), Johannes Tschürtz (FPÖ), Regina Petrik (Greens) Hans Peter Doskozil (SPÖ), Thomas Steiner (ÖVP) and Eduard Posch (NEOS) © (c) APA / ROBERT JAEGER (ROBERT JAEGER)

The ballot box in Burgenland is also the first mood test for the new turquoise-green federal government. According to pollsters, the pattern of 2019 should not be repeated – where the ÖVP and the Greens celebrated triumphs, while the SPÖ experienced one debacle after the other and the FPÖ suffered massively from Ibizagate and expenses affair.

The After a long series of losses, SPÖ can hope for an – at least slight – plus, And the FPÖ is likely to lose something, but not – as in the case of the National Council, Vorarlberg and Styria election – will be punished with a minus of ten percentage points. In return, the growth of the ÖVP and the Greens will be somewhat weaker, opinion pollsters predict. There were no large published surveys for this poll.

voters: 250.181 (2015: 250.607)
, Eligible to vote: Austrians aged 16 and over
, Passively entitled to vote: Austrians aged 18 and over

Parties and top candidates:
SPÖ – Hans Peter Doskozil
ÖVP – Thomas Steiner
FPÖ – Johann Tschürtz
Greens – Regina Petrik
List Burgenland / LBL – Manfred Kölly
NEOS – Eduard Posch

  • Parliamentary mandates: 36
  • Legislative period: 5 years
  • Right to vote: proportional representation with constituencies; Possibility of preferential votes (three in the constituency, one on the country list)
  • Blocking clause: Four percent nationwide or a basic mandate
  • Constituencies: 7th

To the end, the six parties still have intensively campaigned for the votes of the 250,181 Burgenlanders entitled to vote, SPÖ, ÖVP, FPÖ, Greene, NEOS and LBL mobilized all reserves again in the campaign finish. Greens, NEOS and the Bündnis Liste Burgenland focus less on major events than on alternative forms.

The six parties had also stood in the previous state elections in 2015, At that time the SPÖ achieved 41.9 percent of the vote or 15 mandates, the People’s Party had 29.1 percent and eleven mandates. 15 percent voted for the FPÖ (six mandates), the Greens received 6.4 percent and two mandates. The Bündnis Liste Burgenland also held two mandates in the state parliament (with 4.8 percent). NEOS remained below the four percent hurdle at 2.3 percent.

The only federal state with a red-blue coalition

In view of the massive losses from SPÖ to the former government partner ÖVP, Governor Hans Niessl (SPÖ) decided at the time – in the first government formation without a proportional system – for the FPÖ as coalition partner, Ex-Minister of Defense Doskozil, the Niessl, stayed in February 2019. Burgenland is the only state in which the SPÖ and FPÖ work together.

Voter turnout fell slightly in 2015 – but Burgenland is currently in second place with 76.04 percent. This state election is also likely to be of great interest again – about 11 percent of those entitled to vote cast their vote on Friday’s early election day. That was significantly more than in 2015 (8.6 percent). In addition, postal voting is also possible in the state parliament election. Unlike in federal elections, the postal vote had to be received by the municipality on Friday, January 24th. Because in this ballot box they are Postal votes and voting card votes counted on Sunday,

27,580 citizens have already voted

On the previous day, 27,580 people, that is 11.02 percent of all eligible voters, have already used the opportunity to vote for the state parliament election on the early election day. At 8.55 percent, the participation in the state elections in 2015 was somewhat lower.

The relatively strongest response at district level was the early election day in the Mattersburg district, at 12.4 percent. In the Jennersdorf district, however, only 7.98 percent went to the polls. The municipalities with the highest turnout include Badersdorf (39.04 percent), Tschanigraben (29.41 percent) and Heugraben (29.39 percent). The share of voters was lower in Bruckneudorf, Mönchhof (5.28 percent) and Lockenhaus (5.55 percent).

In Burgenland, a total of 250,181 people are eligible to vote in the 2020 state election.

Although the Burgenland experienced one of the few changes in power in Austria – in 1964 the SPÖ replaced the ÖVP from 1st place and the LH chair – but apart from that, the state elections were always quite moderate. A party has never lost or gained double-digit votes – and the best result is not far above the 50 percent mark.

Exactly 53.22 percent of the SPÖ in 1982 was the previous record in the Burgenland state elections since 1945. Landslide victories or electoral disasters never occurred: the greatest plus was the FPÖ’s 6.60 percentage points in 2015, the FPÖ also suffered the biggest minus in the year 2005 with 6.88 percentage points. This makes Burgenland the only federal state in which there have been no double-digit changes in any state parliament election.

Even the turnout did not rattle as badly as in most other federal states – and so the Burgenland (although they never had to vote) are still one of the hardest-working voters. In 2015, more voters than ever stayed at home, but with 76.04 percent, Burgenland is currently the country with the highest participation across Austria.

Among the governors Burgenland has a legend: With 21 years and four months in office (1966 to 1987), Theodor Kery (SPÖ) is Austria’s 8th largest governor of the Second Republic. Hans Niessl (SPÖ), who was replaced by Hans Peter Doskozil at the end of February 2019, made it to 11th place with just over 19 years.


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