Publications Projects About us Links

Analysis of the
1999 Parliamentary Elections


0. Preliminary remarks
1. Pre-electoral situation
2. Time of the voting decision
3. Party changers
4. Key motives
5. Socio-demographic groups
6. Traditional determinants
7. Transformation of party system
8. References
9. Authors

ZAP

3. Voting behaviour of the party changers


According to their statements, 18 percent of the voters of the election on October 3, 1999 voted for a party other than the one they had voted for in the 1995 parliamentary elections, which roughly corresponds to the average figures of the elections in the nineties. The slight decrease in party changers from 1995 to 1999 has to be seen in the light of the significant drop in voter turnout, which affected the SPO to a much stronger degree than the OVP.

 

Table: Share of party changers in parliamentary elections (1979–1999)

Percentage of voters in the parliamentary elections

1979

1983

1986

1990

1994

1995

1999

... who voted for another party this time

7

10

16

17

19

20

18

Source: FESSEL-GfK, exit polls (1986–1999).

 

The profile of the party changers clearly differs from that of the electorate as a whole in several points. In relative terms, the strongest group is formed by the 30 to 44-year olds making up 44 percent of all party changers. The share of secondary school graduates/university graduates (50 percent) and white-collar workers (38 percent) is high above average. On the other hand, the share of party changers among the older voters and people with a lower educational level is clearly below average. Gender-specific differences as a whole are comparatively small. In a detailed analysis, however, they are quite telling: for instance, 63 percent of those who switched over from the SPO to the FPO and 57 percent of those who went over from the OVP to the FPO are men.

 

As with all elections since 1986, the FPO was able to garner the largest share of party changers with 37 percent (1999), followed by the Greens with 17 percent, the OVP with 16 percent and the SPO with 15 percent. In analytical terms, 83 percent of the SPO and OVP voters each had already voted for the respective party in 1995. The OVP was able to win slightly more former Green and LIF voters than the SPO. As regards the FPO voters of 1999, approx. 60 percent are former FPO voters. Moreover, the FPO was able to win more former SPO voters than former OVP voters. The Greens, too, won more votes from the SPO than from the OVP. With 8% and 9% respectively, the share of first-time voters who voted for the FPÖ and the Greens was significantly larger than that of voters who voted for the SPO (4%) and OVP (3%).

 

Table: Voting behaviour of party changers (1986–1999)

Percentage of party changers who voted*)

SPO

OVP

FPO

GREENS

LIF

DU

Parl. El. 1986

10

24

39

22

n. c.

n. c.

Parl. El. 1990

15

11

51

9

n. c.

n. c.

Parl. El. 1994

9

10

40

15

24

n. c.

Parl. El. 1995

25

21

34

5

13

n. c.

Parl. El. 1999

15

16

37

17

8

4

Source: FESSEL-GfK, exit polls (1986–1999).
*) Remaining percentage to make up 100%: other parties and rounding errors.
n. c. = no candidacy


Next | To the top