2015 Upper Austrian state election

← 2009 27 September 2015 2021 →

All 56 seats in the Landtag of Upper Austria
29 seats needed for a majority
All 9 seats in the state government
Turnout893,485 (81.6%)
Increase 1.3%
  First party Second party
 
Pühringer Josef BHO-7736.jpg
ManfredHaimbuchner cropped.jpg
Leader Josef Pühringer Manfred Haimbuchner
Party ÖVP FPÖ
Last election 28 seats, 46.8% 9 seats, 15.3%
Seats won 21 18
Seat change Decrease 7 Increase 9
Popular vote 316,290 263,985
Percentage 36.4% 30.4%
Swing Decrease 10.4% Increase 15.1%

  Third party Fourth party
 
Reinhold Entholzer.jpg
2014 Rudolf Anschober (15390504952) (cropped).jpg
Leader Reinhold Entholzer Rudolf Anschober
Party SPÖ Greens
Last election 14 seats, 24.9% 5 seats, 9.2%
Seats won 11 6
Seat change Decrease 3 Increase 1
Popular vote 159,753 89,703
Percentage 18.4% 10.3%
Swing Decrease 6.6% Increase 1.1%

Landtagswahlkarte Oberösterreich 2015.svg
Results by municipality. The lighter shade indicates a plurality; the darker shade indicates a majority.

Governor before election

Josef Pühringer
ÖVP

Elected Governor

Josef Pühringer
ÖVP

The 2015 Upper Austrian state election was held on 27 September 2015 to elect the members of the Landtag of Upper Austria.

The election saw major losses for the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) and Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ), the traditional major parties of Austrian politics. This was matched by huge gains for the right-wing populist Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), which doubled its vote share to 30% and overtook the SPÖ to become the second largest party. The Greens also made small gains, while the liberal NEOS – The New Austria (NEOS) failed to enter the Landtag on its first attempt, taking 3.5%.[1]

Background

The Upper Austrian constitution mandates that cabinet positions in the state government (state councillors, German: Landesräten) be allocated between parties proportionally in accordance with the share of votes won by each; this is known as Proporz. As such, the government is a perpetual coalition of all parties that qualify for at least one state councillor. Despite this, parties still establish formal coalitions to organise cabinet positions and ensure a Landtag majority for legislative purposes.

In the 2009 state election, the ÖVP consolidated its lead over the SPÖ, which suffered a huge loss of 13.4 percentage points. Meanwhile, the ÖVP came up one seat short of an absolute majority. The FPÖ also made substantial gains (6.9 points) and moved into third place ahead of the Greens. The ÖVP won five councillors, the SPÖ two, the FPÖ one, and the Greens one. The ÖVP formed a coalition with the Greens.

Electoral system

The 56 seats of the Landtag of Upper Austria are elected via open list proportional representation in a two-step process. The seats are distributed between five multi-member constituencies. For parties to receive any representation in the Landtag, they must either win at least one seat in a constituency directly, or clear a 4 percent state-wide electoral threshold. Seats are distributed in constituencies according to the Hare quota, with any remaining seats allocated using the D'Hondt method at the state level, to ensure overall proportionality between a party's vote share and its share of seats.[2]

Contesting parties

The table below lists parties represented in the previous Landtag.

Name Ideology Leader 2009 result
Votes (%) Seats Councillors
ÖVP Austrian People's Party
Österreichische Volkspartei
Christian democracy Josef Pühringer 46.8%
28 / 56
5 / 9
SPÖ Social Democratic Party of Austria
Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs
Social democracy Reinhold Entholzer 24.9%
14 / 56
2 / 9
FPÖ Freedom Party of Austria
Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs
Right-wing populism
Euroscepticism
Manfred Haimbuchner 15.3%
9 / 56
1 / 9
GRÜNE The Greens – The Green Alternative
Die Grünen – Die Grüne Alternative
Green politics Rudolf Anschober 9.2%
5 / 56
1 / 9

In addition to the parties already represented in the Landtag, three parties collected enough signatures to be placed on the ballot.

Results

Landtag of Upper Austria 2015.svg
Party Votes % +/− Seats +/− Coun. +/−
Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) 315,290 36.37 –10.39 21 –7 4 –1
Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) 263,985 30.36 +15.07 18 +9 3 +2
Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) 159,753 18.37 –6.57 11 –3 1 –1
The Greens – The Green Alternative (GRÜNE) 89,703 10.32 +1.14 6 +1 1 ±0
NEOS – The New Austria (NEOS) 30,201 3.47 New 0 New 0 New
Communist Party of Austria (KPÖ) 6,512 0.75 +0.19 0 ±0 0 ±0
Christian Party of Austria (CPÖ) 3,111 0.36 New 0 New 0 New
Invalid/blank votes 23,930
Total 893,485 100 56 0 9 0
Registered voters/turnout 1,094,497 81.63 +1.28
Source: ORF
Popular vote
ÖVP
36.37%
FPÖ
30.36%
SPÖ
18.37%
GRÜNE
10.32%
NEOS
3.47%
Other
1.11%
Landtag seats
ÖVP
37.50%
FPÖ
32.14%
SPÖ
19.64%
GRÜNE
10.71%

Results by constituency

Constituency ÖVP FPÖ SPÖ Grüne NEOS Others Total
seats
Turnout
% S % S % S % S % S %
Linz and Surrounds 30.8 3 27.8 3 22.8 2 12.9 1 4.2 1.4 9 75.9
Innviertel 36.1 3 37.4 3 14.8 1 7.8 3.0 0.9 7 81.9
Hausruckviertel 36.3 5 32.9 4 16.9 2 9.8 1 3.1 1.0 12 83.0
Traunviertel 35.6 3 29.3 3 20.6 2 10.0 1 3.4 1.3 9 81.2
Mühlviertel 42.8 4 25.7 2 16.5 1 10.4 1 3.5 1.1 8 86.7
Remaining seats 3 3 3 2 0 11
Total 36.4 21 30.4 18 18.4 11 10.3 6 3.5 0 1.1 56 81.6
Source: Upper Austrian Government

Aftermath

The result was a major breakthrough for the FPÖ, not least of all because the party captured three state councillors. This put pressure on the ÖVP, which no longer held a majority in the state government. They declared they were not willing to form a coalition which would only have a one-seat majority in the state government, essentially ruling out any coalition with either the SPÖ or Greens alone.[3][4] The Greens pushed for a three-party coalition with the ÖVP and SPÖ, but Pühringer instead sought an agreement with the FPÖ. This was ultimately successful, though Pühringer distanced himself from the FPÖ, describing the situation as a "working agreement" rather than a coalition, stating that both parties were given great freedom to operate independently.[5][6] The coalition was condemned by SPÖ federal Chancellor Werner Faymann, but supported by ÖVP Vice Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner.[7] The new government took office on 23 October.[5]

References

  1. ^ "Results - Election Upper Austria 2015". ORF.
  2. ^ "RIS - Upper Austria Landtag election act". Upper Austrian Government.
  3. ^ "Coalition talks in the state house". ORF. 30 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Upper Austria: Pühringer sees "ability to talk" with all parties". Die Presse. 30 September 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Parliament met for the first session". ORF. 23 October 2015.
  6. ^ "ÖVP: Hummer loses in a fight vote". ORF. 21 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Faymann and Mitterlehner split into black and blue in Upper Austria". Nachrichten.at. 20 October 2015.