Kurz looms over Austrian poll calm

March’s mid-month polls from the country’s two main research organisations are out, with little movement among the parties. However the prospect of a transformational leadership change for the third-placed People’s Party (OVP) still provides intriguing interest.

In the twice-monthly Research Affairs poll for the Oesterreich newspaper, released yesterday, there is scarely a whisper of movement, with only the Greens seeing a slight uptick in their score.

Today’s monthly Unique Research poll for profil magazine also has the Greens up a tick, but more importantly the centre-right OVP gains two points to narrow the gap on the populist Freedom Party (FPO) and the Social Democrats (SPO).


Chart by Visualizer


Contrasting with this rather static picture is the question posed by both pollsters about a possible change of OVP leader, placing popular Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz in the frame. As last month, Research Affairs shows an electrifying effect on voting intentions, parachuting the OVP into first place at 34 per cent and with a nine-point lead over a reduced FPO on 25. A differently-worded question is posed by Unique Research, but the result is equally striking: with the youthful and telegenic Kurz in place, 22 per cent would ‘certainly’ vote OVP, and 26 per cent would be ‘somewhat likely’ to support the party.

However the moment of decision may be a little way off as the recent coalition agreement on tougher immigration measures settles down and speculation about early elections fades. 70 per cent of the public now favour a continuation of the SPO-OVP grand coalition’s work until the scheduled election date of September 2018, according to Unique Research.


Voting intentions, Nationalrat, per cent (change on 4 March poll in brackets):

FPO (Freedom Party) 33 (nc)
SPO (Social Democrats) 29 (nc)
OVP (People’s Party) 19 (nc)
Gruene (Greens) 12 (+1)
Neos (New Austria) 6 (nc)
Others 1 (-1)

Fieldwork: 13.03-15.03.2017. Release date: 17.03.2017. Participants: 600.


Voting intentions, Nationalrat, per cent (change on 18 Feb poll in brackets):

FPO (Freedom Party) 31 (nc)
SPO (Social Democrats) 29 (nc)
OVP (People’s Party) 22 (+2)
Gruene (Greens) 12 (+1)
Neos (New Austria) 5 (-1)
Others 1 (-2)

Fieldwork: dates not stated. Release date: 18.03.2017. Participants: 500.


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