Austria’s presidential re-run

The right-wing populist Norbert Hofer has conceded defeat in the Austrian presidential runoff, confirming in today’s re-vote the original razor-thin result.

Bullet dodged.

And, no, despite what BBC and others say, the Austrian presidency is not merely “ceremonial” in its formal powers.

Is the winner, Alexander Van der Bellen, the first Green ever elected to a presidency anywhere? (Running as an independent, but former head of that party.)

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5 thoughts on “Austria’s presidential re-run

  1. Interestingly enough, according to the Interior Ministry’s election results website, Hofer won in a majority of Austrian states (five out of nine) despite losing the election, although in Salzburg his margin of victory was paper-thin – 1,186 out of 249,402 valid votes cast, or 0.4%. Fortunately, Austria has no electoral college to complicate matters.

  2. In “Political Institutions and Constitutional Law”, Maurice Duverger compared the powers of the presidency in seven semi-presidential regimes ( six extant and one defunct, namely Weimar Germany), from both constitutional and practical perspectives; Austria’s came fifth of seven on both accounts.

  3. Would Austria had been better off with a Preferential Voting system doing this in one round rather than 2 actually 3 rounds? What would the outcome had been? It seems to me that the reason why the far right candidate lost is because the other candidate is also anti establishment as well. It seems as if most Western countries are realigning towards social liberals/greens/internationalism vs nationalist/populist/social conservatives if not in that order with the traditional center left of social democracy in severe decline, and center right conservatism seems to be there in the background.

  4. I believe the Latvian president is also a Green, but he was elected by the parliament not directly by voters.

    • Interesting. I did not know there was (or maybe was) a Green president of Latvia. On the other hand, yes, I meant in my question, popularly elected.

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