1951 Austrian presidential election

6 May 1951 (first round)
27 May 1951 (second round)
1957 →
Nominee Theodor Körner Heinrich Gleißner
Home state Vienna Upper Austria
Popular vote 2,178,631 2,006,322
Percentage 52.06% 47.94%

President before election

Leopold Figl (Acting)

Elected President

Theodor Körner

Presidential elections were held in Austria in 1951, the first time that the President of Austria had been elected by popular vote. A first round of voting was held on 6 May, and with no candidate achieving a majority of the votes, a second round was held on 27 May between the top two candidates, Mayor of Vienna, Theodor Körner representing the Socialist Party's, and Upper Austria Governor Heinrich Gleißner of the Austrian People's Party. Although Gleißner received the most votes in the first round Körner won the runoff with 52% of the vote.[1]


A constitutional amendment in 1929 would have seen the president being elected directly, but a planned election in 1931 was cancelled and the president was instead elected by Parliament as a public vote was deemed too expensive.[2] After the suspension of the constitution in 1934,[3] and Austria ceasing to exist in 1938, the first presidential elections by popular vote were to be held in 1945. However, because the Allied council did not approve on the constitutional law passed by the National Council, the election was again held by the Federal Assembly.[4]


Candidate Party First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Heinrich Gleißner Austrian People's Party 1,725,451 40.14 2,006,322 47.94
Theodor Körner Socialist Party of Austria 1,682,881 39.15 2,178,631 52.06
Burghard Breitner Federation of Independents 662,501 15.41
Gottlieb Fiala Communist Party of Austria 219,969 5.12
Johannes Ude Independent 5,413 0.13
Ludovica Hainisch Independent 2,132 0.05
Invalid/blank votes 72,227 188,241
Total 4,370,574 100 4,373,194 100
Registered voters/turnout 4,513,597 96.83 4,513,597 96.89
Source: Ministry of the Interior


  1. ^ AUSTRIA: New President TIME, 4 June 1951
  2. ^ AUSTRIA: Economy TIME, 19 October 1931
  3. ^ Austria Library of Congress Country Studies
  4. ^ Presidential Elections Ministry of the Interior