Kickl wins, Babler worries and Nehammer breathes a sigh of relief


Rainer Nowak, super department head of “Krone”, analyzes the preliminary trend forecasts for the EU elections.

Welcome to Election Sunday. The following lines are written based on the so-called trend forecast, details may still change, a real projection or result will only be available after 11 p.m. At this point the polling stations in Italy close and our southern neighbors rightly start having aperitifs.

For Austria, today’s election Sunday is a historic one and will deliver a result the second republic has never seen before. (Of course not the first either.) The Freedom Party is in first place for the first time in a national election. They did not reach 30 percent, as some opponents had predicted.

This is called expectation management: on election Sunday, word spread across the political scene that the FPÖ will not take off as feared.

Or to put it another way: what would actually have happened if Karo Edtstadler had agreed with her party leader Karl Nehammer and become the top candidate? Or what would have happened if the SPÖ had sent the Viennese city councilor Peter Hanke or the affable club boss Philipp Kucher into the ring? (The Greens may also wonder: why did Infrastructure Minister Leonore Gewessler immediately turn down the job?) The FPÖ may not be in first place after all.

The SPÖ’s alarm bells should ring much louder
This election victory was predictable, the two European parties ÖVP and SPÖ had already agreed to the passage of the FPÖ, the voters smelled it and punished it. Alarm bells should be ringing for both parties; in less than four months, elections for the National Council and the future government are at stake. The SPÖ should sound much louder, after all, Andreas Babler is confronted with a real problem: the beer party, which will probably cost the SPÖ (and the Greens) votes. He will also continue to receive internal criticism from various states such as Burgenland, Lower Austria and Tyrol.

A half election winner and a real one
In any case, Karl Nehammer can personally breathe a sigh of relief despite the fact that the drop to 20 percent was prevented, which means he is assured of the loyalty of the state governors. He managed to stabilize the party after Sebastian Kurz and the corruption allegations. With second place he would be a half election winner who can be happy.

Back to the real election winner: Herbert Kickl is now the next top candidate who could achieve a national victory and is therefore participating in the next government. No matter how many sleepless nights this gives Alexander Van der Bellen. In the coming weeks and months, Kickl will be judged on what he presents programmatically. Just attacking the government won’t be enough.

We have been waiting for the FPÖ’s economic program for a long time. There is an ongoing debate in political circles about whether Kickl would pave the way for a blue-black or even blue-red government and become the first president of the National Council. I think that’s almost impossible; Kickl won’t back down like that.

Yes, in 1999 it was not Susanne Riess, nor Jörg Haider, but a certain Thomas Prinzhorn who ran to first place on the FPÖ list. After the elections, Wolfgang Schüssel became chancellor, Riess-Passer vice-chancellor and Haider became the eternal Bärentaler. But the situation is not comparable: the FPÖ will probably be in the lead in the autumn. Kickl will see this as his achievement and no one in the FPÖ will question it.

Kickl’s power is by no means so unlimited: the great Viennese, the powerful Upper Austrians and the Salzburgians (both in the state government) are considered critical of Kickl. But they will not rise up against him. Why? Whoever wins the elections also wins the party. And he wins, as was proven today.

Have a nice rest on your Sunday and have a great start to the week.

Source: Krone


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:



More like this