Saturday, August 31, 2019

Austrian elections, shockingly boring.

I want to start by making clear that these elections are likely not boring to those directly impacted, and, those more familiar with austrian politics. To an outside observer, who follows elections in countries with dozens of parties, and in countries that use first past the post; these elections are dreary.

The largest party, OVP, does not have enough support to form a majority coalition with the Greens, or with NEOS. As such any coalition would need to be between OVP and either SPO or FPO. Even SPO and FPO combined don't have a majority. So, why is this so dreary?

First off, OVP and the Greens have very little in common and would almost certainly not form a coalition. As such I'm taking an OVP-Green coalition off the table. I'm also going to remove any three-party coalitions from the available options for various reasons (they are all unrealistic for reasons similar to an OVP-Green one)

So, what is left?


Currently NEOS is polling near 8%, and OVP near 35%. Even a 5 point boost to either party is not enough to solidify a majority.

Meanwhile, OVP+SPO and OVP+FPO remains in majority territory even if both parties in question were to drop 5%.

Add to that the fact that a 5 point move for a party in Austria is unusual and radical, especially over such a short span of time, and you get an election where 'nothing changes'.

Sure, a lot changes, a coalition between a 38% OVP and a 17% SPO is very different than one with a 28% OVP and a 27% SPO; but, again, from the perspective of an outsider who does overviews of elections around the world, they are identical.

As such, I'm finding these elections shockingly boring.

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