2022 Austrian presidential election

← 2016 9 October 2022

Incumbent President

Alexander Van der Bellen
Independent



A presidential election is scheduled to be held in Austria on 9 October 2022.[1] In case no candidate reaches a majority of valid votes cast, a runoff would be held on 6 November.[2] Incumbent Alexander Van der Bellen is eligible for one more term and is running for re-election.[3] About 6.4 million voting-age citizens will be eligible to vote.

Campaign

Up until 2016, presidential elections were held during spring – but because the 2016 election runoff had to be repeated in December by Constitutional Court order, the date of the next election in 2022 was pushed back by about half a year as well. The exact date for the new election will be set by a joint parliamentary commission during spring/summer 2022 and the election must be held roughly three months after that date was set because of calendar reasons/deadlines.[4] There is no definitive date as to when the election can take place in 2022, the only requirement is that the President-elect has to be sworn in by 26 January 2023. However, it has never happened that Austrian elections were scheduled for Christmas or New Year (or during summer school holidays between early July and mid-September), which means that – according to media consensus – it will definitely happen in 2022, most likely during the fall. On 26 June 2022, the Austrian government announced that 9 October 2022 was selected as election day, with a runoff on 6 November 2022 if needed.

On 22 May 2022, President Alexander Van der Bellen announced his candidacy for re-election.[5] Opinion polls indicate high approval ratings for President Van der Bellen. A May 2022 survey showed that 63% of voters are satisfied or very satisfied with Van der Bellen's presidency.[6] Another poll at the end of May had his approval rating at 59%, with 34% disapproving.[7]

The two major parties, the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) and the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ), traditionally refrain from challenging a popular incumbent president if they choose to seek re-election. Following President Van der Bellen's announcement to run for re-election on 22 May 2022, SPÖ announced that they will not run a candidate against him, instead they will actively endorse and support his campaign for re-election.[8] NEOS also announced on 22 May 2022 that they are endorsing and supporting Van der Bellen in his re-election effort.[9] The Green Party, of which Van der Bellen was a long-time leader, also endorsed Van der Bellen after his announcement to run for re-election.[10] While both the SPÖ and NEOS won't support Van der Bellen financially, the Green Party will also support him financially with at least 500.000€ in campaign money.

On 23 May 2022, the governing party ÖVP announced that they will not run a candidate on their own, but did not endorse the candidacy of Van der Bellen for re-election, instead wishing him "all the best". The Governor of Tyrol though, Günther Platter, endorsed Van der Bellen.[11]

The opposition party Freedom Party of Austria announced at an early stage that they will definitely run a candidate against Van der Bellen, while the new party MFG said they are thinking about a candidacy against him. In June 2022, MFG party leader Michael Brunner announced his candidacy for President.

Electoral system

The official residence of the Austrian President since 1946: The Leopoldine Wing of the Hofburg in Vienna.
The official residence of the Austrian President since 1946: The Leopoldine Wing of the Hofburg in Vienna.

The President of Austria is directly elected by universal adult suffrage once every six years. The election is held under a two-round system; if no candidate receives more than 50% of valid votes cast in the first round, then a second ballot occurs in which only those two candidates who received the greatest number of votes in the first round may stand.[4] The constitution grants the president the power to appoint the Chancellor and, by extension, federal cabinet ministers, Supreme Court justices, military officers, and most major bureaucrats. The president may dissolve the National Council. In practice, however, the president acts as a figurehead.

Austrian citizens who have reached the age of 16 by the end of the day of the election and who are not excluded from voting by a judicial conviction are entitled to vote. For the right to stand for election, the completion of the 35th year is required. As a prerequisite for running as a candidate for Federal President, at least 6.000 declarations of support (= valid signatures of eligible voters) must be submitted to the federal electoral authority set up at the Ministry of the Interior together with the formal candidate declaration. At the same time, a candidate fee of 3.600 € must be paid. The last deadline for submission is the 37th day before the election day at 17:00.

Candidates

Officially declared candidates

Officially declared candidates include:[12]

Potential candidates

Earlier candidate speculation

President of the National Council Wolfgang Sobotka of the ÖVP has ruled out running.[22]

The SPÖ was previously undecided about whether they should run a candidate.[23] In November 2020, federal chairwoman Pamela Rendi-Wagner stressed that a decision had not been made, but noted that the SPÖ has never challenged an incumbent president. She also ruled out running herself.[24] Second President of the National Council Doris Bures and Mayor of Vienna Michael Ludwig both stated that the party should support Van der Bellen if he chooses to run for a second term.[25][26] Tyrolean branch leader Georg Dornauer suggested that Bures herself should stand for election, even if Van der Bellen runs again.[27]

Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), who was runner-up to Van der Bellen in 2016, has made conflicting statements about his intention to seek the presidency for a second time. In 2018, he stated that he plans to run in 2022.[28] In 2020, he stated that he would not run if Van der Bellen sought re-election, but that he would if Rudolf Anschober was the Greens nominee.[29] Anschober himself subsequently ruled out running.[30] In February 2021, Hofer said it was "not unlikely" that he would run, and that he would make the decision a year in advance of the election.[31] After Hofer's resignation as party leader in June, he stated he was unsure whether he would run for president. His successor Herbert Kickl voiced his confidence that Hofer would still run, however.[32] On 13 May 2022, Hofer declared that he will not run for President in the fall.[33]

Opinion polls

Polling firm Fieldwork date Sample
size
Alexander Van der Bellen 2016.jpg
Norbert Hofer - FPÖ-Neujahrstreffen 2019.JPG
Geraldgrosz.jpg
Turbobier (12) (cropped).jpg

Herbert Kickl - Pressekonferenz am 1. Sep. 2020.JPG
Others/
None/
Undecided
Lead
Van der Bellen Hofer Grosz Wlazny Fürst / Kickl
Market-Lazarsfeld / ÖSTERREICH 7–8 Jun 2022 1000 42 7 8 9 (Fürst) 34 33
Unique Research / Profil 23–25 May 2022 500 46 23 (+31 Undecided) 23
Market / Der Standard 23–25 May 2022 1000 56 27 (+17 Undecided) 29
Market-Lazarsfeld / ÖSTERREICH 23–24 May 2022 1000 45 7 6 9 (Kickl) 4 (+29 Undecided) 36
Market-Lazarsfeld / ÖSTERREICH 16–19 May 2022 2000 42 9 4 9 (Kickl) 7 (+29 Undecided) 33
IFDD / Puls 24 30 Apr–4 May 2022 1000 64 12.5 12.5 11 (Fürst) 51.5
IFDD / Puls 24 30 Apr–4 May 2022 1000 67 19 14 45
Market / Der Standard 23–28 Dec 2021 800 51 33 (+16 Undecided) 18
Hajek / ATV 6 Dec 2020 814 50 17 33 33

References

  1. ^ red, ORF at/Agenturen (2022-06-26). "9. Oktober: Termin für Hofburg-Wahl steht". news.ORF.at (in German). Retrieved 2022-06-30.
  2. ^ Kabelka, Laura (2022-06-28). "Austrian presidential candidate pool offers establishment alternatives". www.euractiv.com. Retrieved 2022-06-30.
  3. ^ "The Federal President". Austrian Embassy Washington. Retrieved 2021-08-29.
  4. ^ a b "Federal presidential election, overview". Federal Ministry of the Interior (in German). Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  5. ^ "Van der Bellen kandidiert erneut". orf.at (in German). 22 May 2022.
  6. ^ "Wiederkandidatur: Van der Bellen startet mit 63 Prozent in den Wahlkampf". kurier.at (in German). 22 May 2022.
  7. ^ "Den Blauen ist Van der Bellen nicht grün genug". heute.at (in German). 30 May 2022.
  8. ^ "Bundespräsident Van der Bellen tritt bei Wahl im Herbst erneut an". tt.com (in German). 22 May 2022.
  9. ^ "Van der Bellens zweite Kandidatur fix: So reagieren die Parteien". puls24.at (in German). 22 May 2022.
  10. ^ "Breite Unterstützung für Van der Bellen". orf.at (in German). 22 May 2022.
  11. ^ "Nehammer: „Es wird keinen ÖVP-Kandidaten geben"". krone.at (in German). 23 May 2022.
  12. ^ Unterstützungserklärungen BP-Wahl 2022 Bundespräsidentschaftswahl
  13. ^ "Hofburg-Wahl: Grosz kandidiert". orf.at (in German). 21 June 2022.
  14. ^ "Wer ist dein Präsident?". deinpraesident.at (in German). 21 June 2022.
  15. ^ "Marco Pogo will Bundespräsident werden". ORF (in German). 23 October 2021.
  16. ^ "Hofburg: Kickl zögert, jetzt soll es Susanne Fürst machen". politik-live.at (in German). 26 May 2022.
  17. ^ "Haimbuchner als Präsident? Das sagt die FPÖ dazu". heute.at (in German). 3 June 2022.
  18. ^ "Kickl im Wahlkampfmodus – tritt er doch selbst als Präsident an?". oe24.at (in German). 26 May 2022.
  19. ^ "GERÜCHTEKÜCHE BRODELT - Tritt Leitl bei Wahl gegen Van der Bellen an?". krone.at (in German). 25 May 2022.
  20. ^ "Kickl hat Fürst zu sehr beschädigt". oe24.at (in German). 10 June 2022.
  21. ^ "FPÖ will Krone-Kolumnist Wallentin als Hofburg-Kandidat". oe24.at (in German). 8 June 2022.
  22. ^ "Federal President: Sobotka does not want to run for office". ORF (in German). 9 February 2020.
  23. ^ "Federal President: Too early to make a decision, say SPÖ state associations". ORF (in German). 30 November 2020.
  24. ^ ""Not in the life plan" Rendi-Wagner rules out Hofburg candidacy". Kleine Zeitung (in German). 13 December 2020.
  25. ^ "Hofburg 2022: SPÖ is considering supporting Van der Bellen". Kurier (in German). 28 November 2020.
  26. ^ "Hofburg candidacy Ludwig: SPÖ should support Van der Bellen". Kleine Zeitung (in German). 27 March 2021.
  27. ^ "Dornauer for Bures as the SPÖ's Hofburg candidate". Österreich (in German). 28 December 2020.
  28. ^ "Hofer wants to run for president again in 2022". Der Standard (in German). 14 October 2018.
  29. ^ "Hofer in the "summer talk": FPÖ will not challenge the Vienna election". ORF (in German). 17 August 2020.
  30. ^ "Anschober does not want to become president and names four factors for corona traffic lights". Der Standard (in German). 21 August 2020.
  31. ^ "Hofer: "Not unlikely that I will compete"". Kronen Zeitung (in German). 2 February 2021.
  32. ^ ""I will stay 3rd President of the National Council"". Puls24.at (in German). 9 June 2021.
  33. ^ ""Hofer will heuer nicht bei Hofburg-Wahl antreten"". orf.at (in German). 13 May 2022.