The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

June 14, 2004

Politics are interesting

If nothing else, yesterday's EU elections showed a few interesting things:

  • Only about 40% of the people bothered to vote. Seems that the more our election campaigns are copying the American model, the more our voter turnout also matches that of the US. Just one or two more of the ridiculous smear campaigns we had this time, and we'll make the 35% next time.

  • Speaking of which: Jrg Haider's campaign to denounce Social Democrat candidate Swoboda and Conservative EU commissioner Fischler as unpatriotic, or even traitors, resulted in huge losses — for Haider's own party. Haider's FP was reduced to 6%, down from 23% in 1999 (although their miserable performance in the national government may have had more to do with this than their smear campaign).

  • On the other hand, the election proved the fact that Austrian voters will vote for just about anybody: Hans Peter Martin, a candidate without a programme and without a political message, who's not member of any party, who had no election campaign to speak of, — no posters, no events, no anything — and who was almost totally ignored by national television, still won 14% of the votes. All he did was spy on other MEPs and criticise their expense accounts, whereupon Austria's largest newspaper stylised him into some kind of Robin Hood.

  • In the district where I live, the Greens won almost 41% of the votes, which is hugely more than they ever won anywhere. In all of Vienna, they won 22%, which is a new record, too. In all of Austria, they won 12.8%, which makes them the strongest Green party in all of Europe.

See the Austrian results of the EU elections here (requires Flash).

Update: TH has a map of how the 23 Viennese districts voted. That one might also be interesting for non-Viennese readers, because it's a nice demographic breakdown of sorts.

Posted by Horst on June 14, 2004 12:51 PM to news of the world | Tell-a-friend

TH said on June 14, 2004 11:45 PM:

The result is pretty obvious: The Kronenzeitung can deliver 14% of the vote.

If I have too much time on my hands someday, I'll go over all previous elections and the pre-election coverage and see whether this isn't true for all previous elections too.

dieter said on June 15, 2004 02:44 PM:

I am very much afraid you are quite right, TH

Horst, the results in Austria are sad enough when you expect voters to have some common sense, but as you are very fond of Belgium, what do you say about the results there. From what I read in today's paper that was even worse.

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