Austria: Right win elections but significant vote for Socialists

The early general elections in Austria held on 24 November saw a huge victory for the conservative Peoples party (ÖVP) of chancellor Schüssel, getting 42,3 % and becoming the largest party for the first time since 1966.

The main bourgeois paper Die Presse immediately urged him to use the dynamic of the election victory to go on with the attacks. The social democratic party (SPÖ) and Greens were unable to offer a real alternative, even after two years of onslaught on social and democratic rights by this reactionary government. The Socialist Left Party (Sozialistische Links Partei, SLP), Austrian section of the CWI, stood, for the first time ever in a general election, in Vienna. The SLP won 3,906 votes (0.46%), compared to 4,963 of the CP, which lost in Vienna more than 2,000 votes, despite slightly gaining an increase in its vote in all other parts of the country. The election budget of the SLP was 1,500 euro, while the established parties spent up to 52 million euro. The result shows the lack of enthusiasm for the social democratic party and is an expression of the growing desire for a real alternative. The SLP-slogan was that "to vote is not enough – build a socialist alternative!" We now call on supporters and voters to get active and join the ranks of our International.

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December 2002