Austrian far-right fails to reclaim heartland in state election

Austrian far-right fails to reclaim heartland in state election |

The far-right FPÖ lost to the Social Democratic SPÖ by a wide margin in the state election of the southernmost state of Carinthia on Sunday, failing to reclaim the state in which it used to be dominant in the 2000s.

Led by Jörg Haider, the far-right led the region of Carinthia with over 40% of the votes in the 2000s. When Haider died, the social democrats successively won election after election in the state, peaking at 48% in 2018.

Election results on Sunday painted a similar trend, with the SPÖ managing to hold onto first place with 39%, the FPÖ coming in second with 24.1%, and the conservative ÖVP with 17.1%. Team Carinthia, a party that is only active at the regional level, came in fourth with 10%.

The Greens and the social liberal NEOS, parties that are active at the country level, did not reach the electoral threshold of 5% in the state, which is comparatively more rural than other parts of Austria.

Election results also mean that the “grand coalition” of social democrats and the conservatives, which is particularly popular among conservatives, could continue to rule.

For the FPÖ, however, the small gains could indicate that its period of frenzied gains could be coming to an end, even though its result in Carinthia is the best since Haider’s departure. (Nikolaus J. Kurmayer |


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