Austrian People’s Party obtains its worst result since 1945 in Lower Austria’s regional elections

Lower Austrian Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner of the conservative Austrian People’s Party (OVP) in the regional elections. – Florian Wieser/APA/dpa

The Austrian People’s Party (OVP) has obtained this Sunday its worst result since 1945 in the regional elections of Lower Austria, in which it has fallen 10 percentage points.

Thus, the coalition of OVP and the Greens has lost the majority in the State Parliament, while the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) has obtained its best result, increasing by 9 points its previous result and overtaking the Socialists.

Despite this, the Popular Party remains in first place, with 39.94 percent. In second place is the FPO with 24.19 percent, surpassing for the first time the 20 percent barrier. Behind is the Socialist Party (SPO) with 20.66 percent. The Greens are in fourth place with 7.58 percent.

Lower Austria’s governor, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, after the defeat, which she described as a «painful result», has indicated that she wants to «regain confidence». «I deeply believe that this is the most successful and beneficial path for the country and its people,» she has added.

For his part, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, president of the party, has attributed the result to the «mixed situation» of several crises such as the pandemic, inflation and migration. «These are bad times for those in government,» he said, as reported by the Austrian broadcasting company ORF.

The turnout for these elections has reached 71.6 percent, being significantly higher than in 2018, when it reached 66.56 percent, as reported by ‘Die Presse’.

The elections in Lower Austria were seen as a litmus test of the nation’s overall political mood, at a time when the country is facing a series of scandals that have damaged voter confidence, reports DPA.