Will it be a “total crash” or not, people wondered in Austria on Sunday with a view to Tyrol: it was not. Nevertheless, in the state elections, the ÖVP fell by about ten percentage points – from 44 to about 34 percent of the vote – to an all-time low. What does this mean for the federal government?
Selling defeat as victory is paradoxical, says political scientist Peter Filzmaier. Yet the ÖVP does. “Mattle deliberately set the bar very low beforehand. In that respect, he is now firmly in the saddle,” says the politics professor at the Danube University in Krems, who, however, does not speak of a success for the People’s Party, which has been dominant since the Second World War. This would also be absurd. After all, they had the worst election result of all time.
The deep stacking creates breathing space
The still incumbent governor Günther Platter had won more than 44% in 2018. The lows in the investigation probably also forced him – along with threats from critics of corona measures – to withdraw.
The Carinthian professor Kathrin Stainer-Hämmerle also agrees with Filzmaier. You deliberately stacked deep. “Mattle can now rule for five years. He has the power to negotiate and all options are on his side.”
Mainly because the SPÖ, which is far ahead in national polls, has been put down in Tyrol, say Filzmaier and pollster Christoph Haselmayer of the Institute for Demoscopy and Data Collection (IFDD).
The experts believe that, on the one hand, the SPÖ can make few demands with its modest performance (in the federal government, Pamela Rendi-Wagner is way ahead with her SPÖ; Dornauer seemed devastated after the result for his red Tyroleans). On the other hand, the tone in the federal government is getting tougher, Haselmayer believes. He is not the only one with this opinion.
The federal government can take a deep breath
In any case, turquoise green under Nehammer/Kogler should last until 2024. Analyst Peter Filzmaier: “After the elections in Tyrol, there is no reason for the governing parties to get involved. There will also be losses in Lower Austria next year, but they will still be number 1. Chancellor Karl Nehammer, who comes from the Lower Austrian ÖVP, needs to stay in the saddle like the Tyrolean Anton Mattle and be able to breathe deeply for a while.
Interesting development: Kathrin Stainer-Hämmerle thinks the longing for the old, albeit dull red-black unit (keyword Faymann/Spindelegger) will prevail. Both in Tyrol and in the federal government.