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Austria - Presidential Election

Heinz Fischer re-elected as President of the Republic of Austria

Heinz Fischer re-elected as President of the Republic of Austria

26/04/2010 - Results

Outgoing Head of State Heinz Fischer was re-elected on 25th April as President of the Republic of Austria taking 78.94% of the vote far ahead of the Liberal Party (FPÖ) candidate, Barbara Rosenkranz who won 15.62% of the vote. Rudolf Gehring, the Christian Party leader (CPÖ) won 5.44% of the vote.

Turnout was extremely low reaching only 49.71% (-22.23 points in comparison with the previous presidential election on 25th April 2004) and this came in spite of the first time vote for young people aged 16 and over. This decline in turnout can be explained by the fact that for the first time in the Austrian Republic's history the Popular Party (ÖVP), the main opposition party, gave up the race for the supreme office. The party decided not to support any of the three candidates standing but some of its members did however grant their support to Heinz Fischer.

The only real stake in this election – Heinz Fischer's victory was guaranteed from the start of the electoral campaign – lay in the result achieved by Barbara Rosenkranz. Many forecast she would win 15% of the vote and low turnout would take her to 20% of the vote. FPÖ chair Heinz-Christian Strache forecast that his candidate could win up to 35% of the vote. The far right leader turned this presidential election into a test in view of local elections that will take place in Vienna on 10th October next, when he hopes to take the town hall from outgoing Mayor Michael Häupl (SPÖ). In Vienna, Barbara Rosenkranz achieved below her national result: she won 14.10% of the vote in comparison with 82.52% for Heinz Fischer.

On the announcement of the results the Ms Rosenkranz said she had "with her family, been the victim of a witch hunt."

Former SPÖ member, Heinz Fischer, aged 61 and the last survivor of Chancellor Bruno Kreisky (1970-1983) era will be in office for another six years at the Hofburg, the residence of the Austrian Heads of State and former residence of the Habsburg emperors. A law graduate he taught political science at the University of Innsbruck. Elected MP in 1971 he kept his seat until his first election as President of the Republic in 2004, he also chaired the National Council, the Lower Chamber of the Austrian Parliament. Former Science Minister (1983-1987), he was also Vice-President of the European Socialist Party (PSE). His re-election confirms the rule whereby all of the Presidents of the Republic of Austria who run for a second term in office succeed in retaining their post.

Heinz Fischer's victory has helped to boost the SPÖ which spent a rather difficult year from an electoral point of view and which will over the next few months have to defend its seats in the Länder of Burgenland, in which regional elections will take place on 30th May, in Styria (26th September) as well as in Vienna (10th October).

Source : Austrian Interior Ministry
Publishing Director: Pascale JOANNIN