Elections in Austria
On a federal level, there are two main elections: for head of state (Federal President) every six years, and for the 183 seats of the National Council (Nationalrat) every five years by proportional representation.
Austria has a multi-party system. From 1945 to 1986 Austria had two main parties, with a third party also winning seats in the National Council. Since 1986 there have been generally four parties, for a few years even five. At least 4% of the popular vote, or a parliamentary seat in one of the regional constituencies, is needed for representation in the National Council.
In 2007, the voting age was lowered from 18 to 16 in all federal elections, following some states which had lowered it for state and local elections before that.
Austrian citizens who are 16 years or older may stand at elections. Additionally citizens of European Union member states with a permanent residence in Austria may vote at European Union and municipal elections. An exception to the rule on standing for office is the presidential election, where the minimum age to stand as a candidate is 35. Until 2011, members of current or former ruling noble houses (i.e. members of the Habsburg family) were ineligible for office. If the ruling judge decides it is justified, citizens who are sentenced to more than five years of imprisonment can lose their voting rights for the duration of their sentence. This threshold is shortened to one year for specific offenses (such as terrorism, voter fraud, and treason).
2019 legislative electionEdit
|Austrian People's Party||1,789,417||37.5||71||+9|
|Social Democratic Party of Austria||1,011,868||21.2||40||–12|
|Freedom Party of Austria||772,666||16.2||31||–20|
|The Greens – The Green Alternative||664,055||13.9||26||+26|
|NEOS – The New Austria and Liberal Forum||387,124||8.1||15||+5|
|Communist Party of Austria Plus||32,736||0.7||0||0|
|Austrian Beer Party||4,946||0.1||0||New|
|Every Vote Counts!||1,767||0.0||0||0|
|BZÖ Carinthia – Alliance of Patriots||760||0.0||0||New|
|Socialist Left Party||310||0.0||0||0|
|Christian Party of Austria||260||0.0||0||0|
|Source: Austrian Interior Ministry|
2016 Presidential electionEdit
|Candidates (party membership)||First round||Second round (annulled)||Second round (re-run)|
|Norbert Hofer (Freedom Party of Austria)||1,499,971||35.1||2,220,654||49.7||2,124,661||46.2|
|Alexander Van der Bellen (The Greens)||913,218||21.3||2,251,517||50.3||2,472,892||53.8|
|Irmgard Griss (Independent)||810,641||18.9|
|Rudolf Hundstorfer (Social Democratic Party of Austria)||482,790||11.3|
|Andreas Khol (Austrian People's Party)||475,767||11.1|
|Richard Lugner (Independent)||96,783||2.3|
|Source: Bundesministerium für Inneres|
Election results 1945-2019Edit
The Austrian constitution defines two types of referendums on the federal level: binding referendums and non-binding referendums.
A binding referendum is mandatory:
- if the President is removed from office before the end of his term (Article 60, Section 6 of the Federal Constitution), and
- in case of comprehensive change of the Federal Constitution (Article 44, Section 3 of the Federal Constitution).
A binding referendum is facultative (not mandatory) in case of non-comprehensive changes in the Federal Constitution. Such facultative referendum is to be conducted if at least one third of the members of the National Council or the Federal Council requests it.
There have only been two binding referendums in post-1945 Austria: The nuclear power referendum in 1978 and the European Union membership referendum which was called because accession to European Union was deemed to be a comprehensive change to the Constitution.
The National Council has the power to call on a non-binding referendum on matters of great importance. Such a referendum is called by majority of members of the National Council. Results of such a referendum are advisory. There was one such referendum in post-1945 Austria:
- the conscription referendum in 2013
The "no" option won, and the National Council accepted the result of the referendum and acted accordingly.
- countriestudies.us - Austrian Electoral System, retrieved 18 May 2010
- Austrian Ministry of Interior - Elections Overview, retrieved 18 May 2010
- President of Austria: Electoral procedure Archived 2011-05-15 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 22 October 2014
- Austrian Ministry of Interior - Voting Rights, retrieved 9th October 2019
- Adam Carr's Election Archive
- Parties and elections
- Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior: Elections
- NSD: European Election Database - Austria publishes regional level election data; allows for comparisons of election results, 1990-2008