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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


4. The voter’s key motives for making his/her choice

Motives for voting SPO

The reasons for deciding in favour of the Social Democratic Party (SPO) given by almost two thirds of the SPO voters were: maintaining political and social stability (65%), and the representation of interests and tradition (62%). Securing jobs and social benefits ranked third (55%). The fact that the SPO advocates the preservation of neutrality and opposes NATO membership was a central motive for 44% of the SPO voters, and preventing a coalition between OVP and FPO was decisive for 38%. Last on the list of the "reasons" as indicated by opinion polls is the leading candidate of the SPO, Viktor Klima (35%).


Motives for voting OVP

The list of the motives for voting in favour of the OVP was headed by the representation of interests and tradition (69% of the OVP voters). Quite equally rated were the OVP’s economic competence (44%), preventing political instability (44%) and the desire to prevent the FPO from outperforming the OVP (40%). Next on the list is the party’s program of promoting the family and the personality of the leading candidate (35% and 22%, respectively). Significant differences can be observed, however, between traditional OVP voters and those who switched to the OVP from other parties. In the group of party changers, 59 percent stated that it was most important to them to prevent the OVP from falling behind the FPO; 50 percent mentioned the prevention of political instability as an additional motive. The reasons in favour of the OVP thus reflect the effect of the mobilisation of the voter potential sympathetic to the OVP during the final phase of the election campaign.


Motives for voting FPO

The most important reasons given for voting in favour of the FPO were the disclosure of irregularities and scandals (65%), and the wish for a breath of fresh air (63%). The immigrants issue, however, was of central significance for only 47% of the FPO voters (fourth on the list after representation of interests and tradition). From a socio-demographic point of view, their anti-immigration views played a more important role for female pensioners (two thirds) and blue-collar workers (50%). Both, the personality of Jörg Haider (40%) and the desire to teach the two coalition parties a lesson (36%) were of comparatively lower significance.

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