The ÖVP could actually suffer drastic losses in the state elections in Lower Austria on January 29th. Opinion researcher Wolfgang Bachmayer from OGM considers slipping below the 40 percent mark to be a realistic scenario, the latest OGM survey for the “Kurier” (Sunday edition) sees the ÖVP at 37 percent.
“The 40s are not secure,” agrees Peter Hajek (Public Opinion Strategies/Unique Research). The polls all attest to serious losses for the ÖVP state party (see graphic). While the Lower Austrian provincial VP under Provincial Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner was still able to achieve 49.63 percent and thus the absolute majority in the first state election in 2018, it has now slipped below the 40 percent mark in several Sunday issues.
Bachmayer pointed out that the issue of immigration in particular offers “incredible momentum”. Other federal issues such as inflation would also harm the ÖVP. In addition, despite all efforts, the state party had not succeeded in establishing sufficient distance from the “not so popular federal ÖVP”. Bachmayer and Hajek see the reason for this in the strong personal ties between the state party and the federal party, since a large proportion of the Turkish government members come from the Lower Austrian ÖVP. In addition, the ÖVP also hurt the affair surrounding Lower Austria’s ORF state director Robert Ziegler. This will bring “negative dynamics” for the ÖVP in the last week of the election campaign.
It is also becoming apparent that the FPÖ will be able to make strong gains next Sunday. The probability that Lower Austria’s FPÖ will overtake a stagnant SPÖ and come second is high. Then, according to political advisor Thomas Hofer, there would be heated debates not only in the federal ÖVP, but also in the federal SPÖ.
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