On September 25, there will be elections in Tyrol. The ÖVP is in crisis, polls say that social democracy cannot really use it. The state elections are of national importance.
Close to the people and right by the sea. This is how Anton Mattle, the top candidate of the ÖVP, presents himself. Some unintentionally funny. At one point he told about a lady who recognized him while eating an ice cream. She was surprised that Mattle “eats ice cream like a normal person”. He was sure of the ridicule, especially on social media. Normally, this embarrassing episode wouldn’t matter. The ÖVP was considered untouchable in Tyrol. Now it’s different. After 14 years of governor Günther Platter, the ÖVP is entering the race with a new top candidate.
Surprisingly to many, Mattle slipped into this role only in early July. Since then, he has had a hard time raising his profile. The bar is unreachably high. The ÖVP gained 44 percent in the 2018 elections, polls show the People’s Party has achieved a crash of up to 25 percent. Who benefits? SPÖ and FPÖ are each at 16 to 18 percent. The SPÖ with top candidate Georg Dornauer is on a cozy course with the ÖVP and definitely wants to help rule. That’s why he can’t fish out of the red federal pond. Rendi Wagner and Co. clearly oppose the government – and are clearly ahead in the polls.
The Tyrolean FPÖ has proclaimed the “Battle of Tyrol”. Not surprising, especially since Mattle has ruled out a coalition with the Blues. Greens, NEOS and List Fritz are 11-13 percent. Theoretically possible, though unlikely: that the ÖVP will no longer supply the governor after 77 years. And then all the other parties close themselves off to it.