With 100 days to go until Austria’s parliamentary election, the Green Party faces further difficulties following its recent decision to drop historical star personality Peter Pilz as a candidate. The first opinion research testing the prospect of an independent ‘Pilz list’ competing in October shows the Greens would be hard hit, losing one third of their support, and that Pilz would manage to creep over the 4 per cent hurdle to re-enter the Nationalrat at the head of his own delegation.
The poll, by Research Affairs for Oesterreich, shows that the small Neos (New Austria) party would also be affected by such a development. Among the main three parties there is little change compared to the previous week’s Research Affairs poll, with the centre-right People’s Party (OVP) maintaining a large lead over its Freedom Party (FPO) and Social Democrat (SPO) rivals. OVP leader Sebastian Kurz remains highly rated in personality polling (and coincidentally has brought another ex-Green parliamentarian, Efgani Doenmez, onto the OVP’s federal candidate list).
The Greens have been rocked by a series of internal crises in 2017, culminating in longstanding MP Pilz’s defeat in a candidate selection ballot at the party’s congress on 25 June. Within days, he had raised the prospect of running under his own steam. In five national opinion polls published in June, the Greens averaged 9 per cent support, compared to an 11.8 per cent average in January, and 12.4 per cent at the last federal election in September 2013.
RESEARCH AFFAIRS 7 July
Voting intentions, Nationalrat, per cent
(change on 30 June poll in brackets):
OVP (People’s Party) 34 (+1)
FPO (Freedom Party) 25 (nc)
SPO (Social Democrats) 23 (nc)
Gruene (Greens) 6 (-3)
‘Liste Pilz’ 5 (n/a)
Neos (New Austria) 4 (-2)
Others 3 (-1)
Fieldwork: 04.07-06.07.2017. Release date. 07.07.2017. Participants: 600. Methodology: Online poll. Media partner: Oesterreich. Further report here.
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