Salzburg’s FPÖ “probably not quite as sharp”
In the “Salzburg Today” interview on Monday evening, Heinisch assessed the outcome of the Lower Austrian election, which is expected to be the Salzburg state election in just under three months.
Liberal “trying to bring back Kurz voters”
The massive stream of voters from the ÖPV to the FPÖ in Lower Austria is particularly striking. But that was no surprise for Heinisch: “The FPÖ is where it has always been. We know that the FPÖ has a maximum potential of 25 to 30 percent in Austria. At least that was always the case until now. If the FPÖ has problems, scandals, then it loses half of these voters and goes back to the core electorate of ten to 15 percent. You can reach another 15 percent. If the signs of the times are as they are and the issues speak for them, they can get many of these voters to come along. These are the former Kurz voters. The FPÖ will try to bring them back.”
the political scientist believes in a less aggressive election campaign by the Freedom Party than in Lower Austria: “I assume that the FPÖ would like to have a say in Salzburg. Therefore, she will probably not compete as sharply as in Lower Austria.”
Differences in ÖVP performance expected
When asked whether he sees a black election Sunday for the Salzburg ÖVP like in Lower Austria, Heinisch said: “There are many factors that are similar. The issues will not change much, however, and dissatisfaction is relatively high. But maybe there is also a mood for change. Of course, this is not an ideal prerequisite for the current government. However, there are also significant differences between Salzburg and Lower Austria.”
The political scientist Heinisch analyzes the Lower Austria election
The political scientist Reinhard Heinisch examined the Lower Austria elections in probably the state elections in Salzburg in April.
“Clear incumbent bonus” for Haslauer
The fact that Governor Wilfried Haslauer (ÖVP) attaches “no importance” to Salzburg to the outcome of the election in Lower Austria and that voters will reassess the situation in April, Heinisch saw a little more differentiated: “I think there are similarities. But he is certainly right that in Lower Austria there were clear weaknesses in the candidates and the candidate – the provincial governor – that she is not a good communicator. I think Wilfried Haslauer has the incumbent bonus more clearly and is much more associated with the office than it was in Lower Austria.
For the political scientist, there are also major differences between the ÖVP state parties: “In Salzburg, the strategy will probably now be to distance ourselves more from the federal government. That was not possible for the Lower Austrians because the federal government is much more closely associated with Lower Austria and Salzburg has always been at a certain distance from Vienna. However, there are problems here too. And the dissatisfaction of the people and the issues will probably be similar.”
Parties should avoid “own goals”.
One thing is clear for Heinisch: In the three months until the ballot in Salzburg, a lot can still be done: “We live in turbulent times. Of course, new topics may arise by then. Perhaps one has to say that the federal government or the parties should perhaps refrain from doing things that make it even more difficult to win an election. We’ve seen a lot of examples lately where you’ve scored an own goal.”