On Sunday, it is election time again in Vienna. Who is being elected? Who is allowed to vote, and above all, which Austrian political parties do exist? Here are some answers for you.

Wien

There are many different political parties in Austria. Some of them are important for Vienna’s regional election. We will give you an overview of Austria’s largest parties:

  • SPÖ = Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs (Social Democratic Party of Austria). Red is used as the party’s colour and is traditionally associated with socialist movements. Werner Faymann serves as its chairperson. Along with the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), the SPÖ is one of the two oldest and major political parties in Austria. Within Vienna, the SPÖ has been strongest party in the last years.
  • FPÖ = Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (Freedom Party of Austria), with blue as the party’s colour. Its leader is Heinz-Christian Strache. Polls leading up to the Vienna election indicate a neck-and-neck between SPÖ and FPÖ.
  • Die Grünen (Austrian Green Party), present themselves in the colour green, traditionally connected to the importance of environmental issues. Its chairperson is Eva Glawischnig. In Vienna, Die Grünen are currently in a coalition with the SPÖ.
  • ÖVP = Österreichische Volkspartei (Austrian People’s Party), represented in black. They are a Christian-social party. Its leader is Reinhold Mitterlehner. Despite of being a major party on a national level, the ÖVP play a secondary role at state level in Vienna.

Wiener Fahne

Who is being elected?

The election takes place on Sunday, October 11, 2015 in Vienna. The Vienna City Council (which also doubles as the Vienna state parliament) and the state elections are held simultaneously.

Vienna’s City Council is the highest governing body of Vienna. It is responsible for electing the mayor, vice-mayor and the town councils. In addition, 100 local council members are members of the Vienna State Parliament, which is the legislative body of Vienna.

Who is allowed to vote?

Austrian citizens, 16 years or older, whose principal place of residence is in Vienna elect the Vienna City Council (Vienna state level). However, citizens of other EU-countries are also allowed to vote for the local council elections (Vienna city level).