A great – and dangerous – satisfaction broke out in Vienna after election Sunday. The SPÖ has used its home advantage and gained. The Greens and the Liberal Neos have gained ground. The ÖVP has grown. The right-wing populists, the FPÖ and the private split of their former boss, Heinz-Christian Strache, have collapsed and, at least for the time being, will not play an important role at either the state or federal level.
Strache had advertised himself on election day with the slogan: “What hurts the powerful and slanderers the most? One vote for HC!” In addition, the ÖVP in Vienna, without fear of contact with the Freedom Party, took a strict right course and collected some of these votes.
But the ÖVP has only collected a part. In any case, it would be unlikely that the turquoise ruling party and its regional providers will and can ensure that there is no longer any room to the right of the ÖVP. 40 percent of the voters in Vienna preferred to stay at home on Sunday and did not vote at all; The voter flow analysis shows that very many of them had previously voted for the FPÖ. They may either be waiting for their old party to get out of hand – or for a new right-wing party, not damaged by the Ibiza scandal, Strache’s expense affair and internal power struggles, to offer itself.
In addition to the low voter turnout, the composition of the electorate is an issue that the winners should tear from their well-deserved post-election exhaustion. A third of Viennese aged 16 and over are not eligible to vote because they do not have an Austrian passport; in some parts of the city it is almost half. Many of them are young people who were born in Vienna. 80 percent of those not eligible to vote have lived in the capital for much longer than five years.
Only: The ÖVP top candidate in Vienna, Finance Minister Gernot Blümel, had tried to score points, among other things, by the fact that apartments in municipal buildings should only be given to applicants with a reasonable knowledge of German. And the ÖVP-led federal government and its chancellor are of the opinion that one can also participate in society in an honorary position. It is therefore not to be expected that an initiative for easier access to citizenship or the right to vote for foreigners will come from this side.
But even the social democrats in red Vienna have so far not distinguished themselves by being particularly committed to this issue. Mayor Michael Ludwig put it, emphasizing the state, as follows: “Personally, I am always of the opinion that the right to vote in the legislative bodies should be linked to citizenship.”
To tackle the question of electoral law would mean opening a barrel and fueling fresh anger among the lying right-wing populists. ÖVP and SPÖ, which used to run under “people’s parties”, will not take any risks and will further upgrade the increasing number of people with a “migration background”. Even if they are part of the people.