Elections in Austria

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This article provides information on elections and election results in Austria.

On a federal level, there are two main elections: for head of state (Federal President) every six years, and for the 183 seats of the National Council (Nationalrat) every five years by proportional representation.

Austria has a multi-party system. From 1945 to 1986 Austria had two main parties, with a third party also winning seats in the National Council. Since 1986 there have been generally four parties, for a few years even five. At least 4% of the popular vote, or a parliamentary seat in one of the regional constituencies, is needed for representation in the National Council.[1]

In some cases, a referendum can be called on by the Austrian Parliament.

In 2007, the voting age was lowered from 18 to 16 in all federal elections, following some states which had lowered it for state and local elections before that.


Austrian citizens who are 16 years or older may stand at elections. Additionally citizens of European Union member states with a permanent residence in Austria may vote at European Union and municipal elections.[2] Citizens who are sentenced to more than one year of imprisonment lose their voting rights.[3] An exception to the rule is the presidential election, where the minimum age to stand as candidate is 35. Until 2011, members of current or former ruling houses (i.e. members of the Habsburg family) were ineligible for the office.[4]

Latest elections

2017 legislative election

NRWahl 2017.svg
Party Votes % Seats +/–
Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) 1,586,106 31.5 62 +15
Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) 1,351,918 26.9 52 0
Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) 1,310,614 26.0 51 +11
NEOS – The New Austria (NEOS) 264,317 5.3 10 +1
Peter Pilz List (PILZ) 220,088 4.4 8 New
The Greens – The Green Alternative (GRÜNE) 189,467 3.8 0 –24
My Vote Counts! (G!LT) 47,808 0.9 0 New
Communist Party of Austria Plus (KPÖ+) 39,074 0.8 0 0
The Whites (WEIßE) 9,081 0.2 0 New
Free List Austria (FLÖ) 8,845 0.2 0 New
New Movement for the Future (NBZ) 2,723 0.1 0 New
Homeless in Politics (ODP) 757 0.0 0 New
Socialist Left Party (SLP) 705 0.0 0 0
EU Exit Party (EUAUS) 681 0.0 0 0
Christian Party of Austria (CPÖ) 424 0.0 0 0
Men's Party (M) 220 0.0 0 0
Invalid/blank votes 50,520
Total 5,083,348 100 183 0
Registered voters/turnout 6,400,998 79.4
Source: Austrian Interior Ministry (partial count of postal ballots)

2016 Presidential election

e • d Summary of the 2016 Austrian presidential election results
Candidates (party membership) First round Second round (annulled) Second round (re-run)
Votes % Votes % Votes %
Norbert Hofer (Freedom Party of Austria) 1,499,971 35.1 2,220,654 49.7 2,124,661 46.2
Alexander Van der Bellen (The Greens) 913,218 21.3 2,251,517 50.3 2,472,892 53.8
Irmgard Griss (independent) 810,641 18.9
Rudolf Hundstorfer (Social Democratic Party of Austria) 482,790 11.3
Andreas Khol (Austrian People's Party) 475,767 11.1
Richard Lugner (independent) 96,783 2.3
Valid votes 4,279,170 97.9 4,472,171 96.4 4,597,553 96.8
Invalid votes 92,655 2.1 164,875 3.6 151,851 3.2
Total votes 4,371,825 68.5 4,637,046 72.7 4,749,404 74.2
Eligible voters 6,382,507 6,382,507 6,399,572
Source: Bundesministerium für Inneres

Past elections


Austrian constitution defines two types of referendums on the federal level: binding referendum and non-binding referendum.

Binding referendum

Binding referendum is mandatory:

  • if the President should be removed from office before the end of his term (Article 60, Section 6 of the Federal Constitution), and
  • in case of comprehensive change of the Federal Constitution (Article 44, Section 3 of the Federal Constitution).

Binding referendum is facultative (not mandatory) in case of non-comprehensive changes in the Federal Constitution. Such facultative referendum is to be conducted if at least one third of the members of the National Council or the Federal Council requests it.

There were only two binding referendums in post-1945 Austria: The nuclear power referendum in 1978 and the European Union membership referendum which was called because accession to European Union was deemed to be a comprehensive change to Constitution.

Non-binding referendum

The National Council has the power to call on a non-binding referendum on matters of great importance. Such referendum is called by majority of members of the National Council. Results of such a referendum are advisory. There was one such referendum in post-1945 Austria:

The "no" option won, and the National Council accepted the result of the referendum and acted accordingly.

See also


  1. ^ countriestudies.us - Austrian Electoral System, retrieved 18 May 2010
  2. ^ Austrian Ministry of Interior - Elections Overview, retrieved 18 May 2010
  3. ^ Austrian Ministry of Interior - Federal System, retrieved 18 May 2010
  4. ^ President of Austria: Electoral procedure, retrieved 22 October 2014

External links

  • Adam Carr's Election Archive
  • Parties and elections
  • Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior: Elections
  • NSD: European Election Database - Austria publishes regional level election data; allows for comparisons of election results, 1990-2008
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