For years, SPÖ leader Pamela Rende Wagner and the governor of Burgenland, Hans-Peter Doskozil, had been in a heated dispute over party leadership. A battle of attrition seriously damages SPÖ.
And the conservative ÖVP led by Chancellor Karl Nehammer shrinks to the size it was before Sebastian Kurz led the party to unprecedented heights as chancellor, only to suddenly disappear into a swamp of corruption.
What does the new power of the FPÖ mean for Austria? a lot. Because the FPÖ certainly seems to have come out of the dirty corner it’s been in after allegations of corruption against former party leader Heinz-Christian Strache – Ibiza speech video. In January, the FPÖ managed to turn its gains in Lower Austria into a real force. Because the lower Austrian ÖVP swung sharply to the right and entered into a coalition with the right-wing populists. The ÖVP and FPÖ can also rule with a strong majority in Salzburg. However, it is not yet clear if this will be reached.
But one thing is for sure: SPÖ is literally in ruins. The seemingly disoriented Social Democrats are losing voters in all directions, and now also to the Communists: the KPÖ, and for Salzburg this is a minor sensation, has managed to get into Parliament. With issues that belong in fact to the fundamental sphere of social democratic politics: wages and, above all, rents.
As Salzburg shows, the SPÖ does not have much time to reorganize itself if it wants to continue playing a leading role in Austria.
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