Lower Austria vote is first test for Kurz

Voters will go to the polls a week today in Austria’s largest region, Niederoesterreich (Lower Austria) in what will be the first electoral test for the new coalition government in Vienna led by Sebastian Kurz of the OVP (Austrian People’s Party).

This will be the first in a series of regional elections in the Alpine country, with Tirol due to vote on 25 February, Kaernten (Carinthia) on 4 March and Salzburg on 22 April.

Niederoesterreich should not be too severe a challenge for the OVP, which is riding high in national voting intentions. The main interest lies in whether incumbent OVP Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner can retain an absolute majority in the regional parliament in St-Poelten. Of the five polls carried out in January, two show her likely to achieve that goal, with 47 per cent (Unique Research) and 48 per cent (Hajek) of voting intentions. Three others, two from Research Affairs and one from OGM, put the OVP slightly lower on 45 per cent.

Of the two other main political forces, the Social Democrats (SPO) are polling between 22 and 26 per cent, against 21.6 per cent at the ballot box back in 2013. The populist Freedom Party (FPO) also lies in a four-point range, between 17 and 21 per cent – a big advance on 2013’s result of just 8.2 per cent. Smaller parties New Austria (NEOS) and Greens (Gruene) are very consistent in the polling at 5 or 6 per cent each.


Chart by Visualizer


1,386,343 residents are registered to vote in next Sunday’s election – the state has a population second only to Vienna among the Austrian Laender. 56 seats are available in the regional parliament for five year term. Turnout in 2013 was a healthy 71 per cent.


Niederoesterreich Landtag voting intentions, per cent

OGM 21 January
OVP 45, SPO 26, FPO 19, Neos 5, Gruene 5, Others 0
Fieldwork: 08.01-16.01.2018. Participants: 831. Telephone poll. Media partner: Kurier.

Research Affairs 19 January
OVP 45, SPO 23, FPO 21, Neos 5, Gruene 5, Others 1
Fieldwork: 16.01-18.01.2018. Participants: 413. Online poll. Media partner: Oesterreich.

Hajek 15 January
OVP 48, SPO 23, FPO 17, Neos 6, Gruene 5, Others 1
Fieldwork: 02.01-11.01.2018. Participants: 805. Telephone and online poll. Media partner: Niederoesterreichische Nachrichten.

Unique Research 12 January
OVP 47, SPO 23, FPO 18, Neos 5, Gruene 5, Others 2
Fieldwork: 02.01-10.01.2018. Participants: 500. Telephone and online poll. Media partner: Heute.

Research Affairs 6 January
OVP 45, SPO 22, FPO 21, Neos 5, Gruene 4, Others 3
Fieldwork: 03.01-05.01.2018. Participants: 410. Online poll. Media partner: Oesterreich.


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