Result of the EU election: FPÖ just ahead of the ÖVP

Result of the EU election: FPÖ just ahead of the ÖVP
Top candidate Harald Vilimsky and FPÖ federal party chairman Herbert Kickl

However, the gap to the second-placed People’s Party was significantly smaller than the first forecasts at 5 p.m. had suggested. The SPÖ remained in third place. The Greens are likely to remain in double figures with just under eleven percent, while the NEOS are just about to miss out. The KPÖ and DNA failed. The final result, including all voting cards, is not expected to be available before Monday evening.

As is usual with EU elections, the election night was exciting for a long time, as the results can only be published when the last polling stations close across Europe, which is at 11 p.m. in Italy. For this reason, one had to rely for the time being on a joint trend forecast by FORESIGHT, ARGE Wahlen and Peter Hajek for APA, ORF and Puls 4, which gave the FPÖ a fairly clear lead over the People’s Party and the SPÖ.

The counting then showed that the Freedom Party and the ÖVP were somewhat closer together. Despite an increase of 8.5 percentage points, the FPÖ remained at 25.7 percent, well below its record result of 1996 (27.5 percent), which was still enough to secure first place. The ÖVP lost a whopping 9.9 percentage points, a historic loss, at 24.7 percent. The SPÖ is in danger of achieving its worst result in an EU election with 23.2 percent, unless postal voters turn things around like they did five years ago. The Greens got off lightly with 10.7 percent after the turmoil surrounding top candidate Lena Schilling, losing three percentage points. The NEOS did not reach their good poll ratings, but still achieved the best result in their history with 9.9 percent.

  • also read: What were the decisive motives for voting

Postponements due to voting cards

There could still be slight shifts due to 109,000 ballot papers that will not be counted until Monday. The ÖVP could move a little closer to the Freedom Party. However, a change in the top positions is almost impossible. The ballot paper forecast ultimately assumes a gap of 0.8 percentage points. The NEOS should therefore just about reach double figures, namely 10.1 percent. Otherwise there are hardly any changes.

The KPÖ increased from 0.8 to almost three percent (2.9) and missed the four percent hurdle. Lead candidate Günther Hopfgartner nevertheless sees “a certain springboard with regard to the National Council elections”. The first-time candidate on the DNA list, Maria Hubmer-Mogg, was disappointed with the 2.7 percent achieved and does not want to run for the National Council.

Good mood at the FPÖ

The mood was much better among the Freedom Party. Lead candidate Harald Vilimsky perceived a vote for more national self-determination. The fear campaign of the competition had come to nothing. Party leader Herbert Kickl “humbly” celebrated a “historic result” and saw a “milestone” reached. An election day survey for ATV/Puls24 seems to be making the Freedom Party hopeful. 69 percent of people who voted for the FPÖ in the EU election will definitely do so in the National Council election as well. This is by far the best result of all parties.

  • also read: EU election: Great anger over missing voting cards

VP top candidate Reinhold Lopatka called the heavy losses “bitter,” but also recognized a “good basis” and the “huge opportunity” to make up for it in the fall. Party leader and Chancellor Karl Nehammer, on the other hand, found the result “not at all pleasing.” He wants to take the “great dissatisfaction” among the population and pour it into concrete policies – for example, through decisive action against illegal migration and overregulation.

The SPÖ issued slogans calling for perseverance. Party leader Andreas Babler spoke to his supporters of a “very stable result”. Even if they had expected a little more, they were “within striking distance” of the FPÖ. Lead candidate Andreas Schieder was realistic: “Tailwind would have been better.” The SPÖ is still in a difficult phase. Club chairman Philip Kucher also left no doubt about his disappointment: “We don’t need to mess around, of course we would have wanted and hoped for more.”

“Don’t let us be blown away”

Green Party spokesman Werner Kogler promised after a turbulent election campaign that mistakes would be addressed and made better. The Vice Chancellor could live with the result under the current circumstances: “We are used to headwinds and we will not let ourselves be blown away.” Schilling herself now wants to fight for climate justice with all her heart after what she described as a “bad” election campaign in Brussels.

NEOS top candidate Helmut Brandstätter did not want to be criticized for his “excellent result”, even though it fell short of the poll results. Party leader Beate Meinl-Reisinger was enthusiastic: “We are winners today.”

After the election, Austria will be represented in Strasbourg and Brussels by 20 representatives instead of the current 19. The reason for this is the increase in the total number of seats in the EU Parliament, which has been decided for the coming legislative period and will have 720 seats instead of 705 in the future.

As things stand, the Freedom Party would gain three seats and the NEOS one. In return, the ÖVP would lose two and the Greens one. The SPÖ would remain the same.

Austria’s outgoing EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn (ÖVP) was not very enthusiastic about the outcome of the FPÖ’s victory: “It was not a boost to the party’s reputation. The Freedom Party’s result was “not one to be happy about”.

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