Green Party wins election re-run in Vienna's Leopoldstadt
The Local · 19 Sep 2016, 10:40
Published: 19 Sep 2016 10:40 GMT+02:00
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According to initial projections, which don’t include absentee ballots or the votes of non-Austrian EU citizens, the Greens won around 34 percent of the vote (in the first election in October 2015 they only won 22.15 percent).
The SPÖ slipped to 28.5 percent, down from 38.64 percent. The Freedom Party won 22.6 percent and saw a slight increase in votes compared to 2015, of almost 3 percent. The conservative People’s Party (ÖVP) got just 6.3 percent and the NEOS 5.5 percent.
Voter turnout was substantially lower than in 2015, at just 26.7 percent it was down a massive 36.5 percent.
The Green candidate Uschi Lichtenegger will replace the SPÖ’s Karlheinz Hora as the district leader. The Greens will hold around 20 seats in the district council, the SPÖ 18, the FPÖ 15, and the ÖVP and the NEOS will each have three.
Lichtenegger said her victory was unexpected: "I’m surprised and I am really happy - I think we reached a lot of people with our message of living together in harmony. The Greens had a good campaign and a plan for the district”.
She promised that the Greens will hold to their pledges of providing more quality childcare facilities and protecting green space.
The FPÖ's candidate Wolfgang Seidl, who campaigned on an anti-immigration ticket, said a victory for the Greens is "a disaster for the district" and warned that it would end in “tragedy”.
Political expert Thomas Hofer told Radio Wien that he believed the Greens' success was not down to their campaign but was a reflection of a desire from the voters’ to “prevent the FPÖ gaining power”.
Hofer added that he sees the low voter turnout as a reflection of “election fatigue” after Austria’s trouble-stricken presidential election re-run was again postponed until December.