Austria's SPÖ party announces Babler as leader after vote mix-up

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
Austria's SPÖ party announces Babler as leader after vote mix-up
SPÖ leader Andreas Babler is preparing a no confidence motion in the entire Austrian federal government. ((c) Andreas Babler)

Austria's biggest opposition party, the centre-left SPÖ confirmed Andreas Babler as its new chairman on Monday after initially announcing Hans Peter Doskozil had won the race to lead the party.


Austria's centre-left SPÖ party backtracked on their announcement that Burgenland governor Hans Peter Doskozil would be their new chairman and instead, announced on Monday that Andreas Babler, a mayor in Lower Austria was the new party leader.

Head of the election commission Michaela Grubesa said that "due to a technical error, the votes were assigned incorrectly at the party conference."

Hans Peter Doskozil received 280 votes (46.51 per cent), while Andreas Babler got 317 votes (52.66 per cent), the SPÖ said.

"Andreas Babler was thus elected the new party chairman by the extraordinary federal party conference", it added.


On Saturday, the SPÖ initially announced Burgenland governor Hans Peter Doskozil as its new head. The governor went to give several interviews as the party leader over the weekend and was set to disclose his new team.


Austrian Media said an error occurred when transferring the handwritten ballots to an Excel list. ORF journalist Martin Thür was the first to notice that the ballot numbers were not adding up. An SPÖ statement had said there were 596 valid votes, 316 for Doskozil and 279 for Babler. However, that would add up to 595. 

The "missing vote" prompted a complete recount and result change. The SPÖ said a new congress and vote would not be called and would be "unnecessary", according to Grubesa. 

In a statement, Doskozil said he accepted the new results and would work with the party and with Babler and close his "chapter" of federal politics. Meanwhile, Babler said that the mistake was "painful" for all those involved and he wants to work on the "complete comeback" of the SPÖ. 

Babler added the voting commission would review the results once again so that there are "no question marks" regarding the elections.


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