Styrian analysis

EU election result increases pressure on state leadership

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10.06.2024 06:00

The EU election is over: for the Styrians, it was just the start of a spectacular political year - the National Council and Styrian state elections will follow in the fall. What are the consequences of Sunday's vote?

The FPÖ as the clear number 1, the ÖVP clearly ahead of the SPÖ despite heavy losses: can the Styrian EU election result influence the National Council and provincial elections at all? "There is a psychological influence, especially on the political decision-makers and on the base of the parties," says political scientist Heinz Wassermann from the Joanneum University of Applied Sciences.

In his opinion, a clear defeat for the ÖVP had already been priced in. Nevertheless, the pressure on Governor Christopher Drexler could now increase. And he could succumb to the temptation to act even more populist. He recently hit the headlines with calls for a national stadium and for the combustion engine, even defending the playing of Gigi d'Agostino's hit "L'Amour Toujours". "Now we still need to save the schnitzel," says Wassermann.

Heinz Wassermann (FH Joanneum) (Bild: FH Joanneum)
Heinz Wassermann (FH Joanneum)

Tailwind for the FPÖ ahead of state elections
For the FPÖ, the victory in the EU elections is of course a tailwind, as they are also ahead in the Styrian polls. The blue party scored particularly well in many rural regions. It will be a challenge for them to get the party apparatus up to speed three times this year.

The SPÖ under Deputy Governor Anton Lang, on the other hand, is starting the election year with a disappointment. In Styria, however, compared to the federal government (Wassermann: "The SPÖ is completely out of touch there"), it has the advantage of being more relevant and present as a governing party.

Greens focus on Styrian issues
According to Wassermann, the Styrian Greens are focusing heavily on regional political issues in their online campaigns, meaning that they remained largely unaffected by the "Lena Schilling case". For the Neos, the remarkable EU result has no relevance for the regional elections, as the Pinks are considered "the" pro-European party - this is not an issue at regional level.

And the Communists? They didn't really play a role in the EU election campaign and yet still made gains: a good signal for the fall, where they are flirting with a move into the National Council and gains in the regional elections.

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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