Austrian Democrats hold on to power
Election result: Vranitzky jubilant as unofficial results show victory for SPO and drop in support for anti-foreigner party
Monday 18 December 1995
Unofficial results gave Mr Vranitzky's Social Democrats (SPO) 38.3 per cent of the vote, comfortably ahead of their nearest rivals, the conservative People's Party (OVP) on 28.3 per cent, and the FPO, led by the populist Jorg Haider, on 22.1 per cent.
A jubilant Mr Vranitzky, now into his 10th year as Chancellor, hailed his victory as "a great result for us and for Austria". He also indicated that he would now begin talks aimed at building a governing coalition with all parties except Mr Haider's FPO.
The SPO triumph marked the reversal of years of decline in its support, which slumped to an all-time low of 34.9 per cent in Austria's last election in October 1994. It also was a vindication of a campaign promising "no experiments" and warning of the danger of allowing Mr Haider into government.
"This shows that the Austrians did not want a government including Mr Haider," said Anneliese Rohrer, political editor of Die Presse newspaper. "The SPO will now be back for years."
The 0.4 per cent drop in support for the FPO marked the first electoral setback for Mr Haider since taking over as party leader in 1986. While accepting that he had hoped to do better, he hailed the result as proof his support had consolidated.
The poll also saw a sharp decline in support for the Greens (which slipped from 7.3 per cent to 4.6 per cent) and the Liberal Forum, which fell back by 0.4 per cent to 5.3 per cent.
The biggest loser of the evening, however, was arguably Wolfgang Schussel, the ambitious leader of the OVP who precipitated the election by pulling out of the old coalition with the SPO in a disagreement over how to reduce Austria's spiralling budget deficit.
Although the OVP made gains of 0.6 per cent, the party failed miserably in its attempt to overtake the Social Democrats as the country's largest party.
In part, Austrians, used to decades of prosperity and stability, were clearly frightened by the sort of budget cutbacks proposed by the OVP, fearing that they could lead to the sort of social unrest currently afflicting France.
In part, however, they were unhappy with Mr Schussel's suggestion that he might form a coalition with Mr Haider, a man who once praised Hitler's employment policies and who campaigned on a crudely anti-immigrant ticket.
Although mathematically a "black-blue" coalition between the OVP and FPO would still be possible, yesterday's results made it extremely unlikely.
According to most observers, the most probable outcome will instead be the resumption of a coalition between the SPO and the OVP, the same team that has been ruling Austria for the past nine years - prompting many to wonder what the election was held for in the first place.
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Scottish independence: Almost half of No voters have felt 'personally threatened' by the Yes campaign
Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£1036224 - £1513056 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Educatio...
£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Are you a fully quali...