Austrian government "shocked" as opposition sweeps early presidential balloting

Do you think that the people of Europe are a bit tired of their own politicians and how they have handled the flood of Muslim immigrants from Iraq and Syria? In Austria the voters have had a chance to speak out on the subject and the results thus far seem fairly clear. While we here in America were focused on all the presidential primary news this weekend, Austrians had their own chance to go to the polls in the first round of a long contest to select their next leaders. To see any sort of change in the power structure would be truly shocking because a coalition of Chancellor Werner Faymann’s Social Democrats (SPOe) and/or their partners in the People’s Party (OeVP) have held power almost continually since just after World War II. (Keep those names in mind as you read on.)


Now, however, there’s been a surge of support for the Freedom Party (FPOe) and their candidate, Norbert Hofer, who has promised a hard line on dealing with the wave of immigrants and the problems they have created. With most of the votes counted, the traditional partnership of leaders was left reeling as they were essentially shut out of the upcoming elections. (Yahoo News)

Austria’s government was licking its wounds Monday after a historic debacle that saw the opposition anti-immigrant far-right triumph in a presidential ballot two years before the next scheduled general election.

According to preliminary results, Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party (FPOe) came a clear first with 36 percent of the vote, while candidates from the two governing parties failed to even make it into a runoff on May 22…

“This is the beginning of a new political era,” FPOe leader Heinz-Christian Strache said after what constituted the best-ever result at federal level for the former party of the late Joerg Haider, calling it a “historic result”.

The centre-right OeVP’s candidate Andreas Khol came equal fourth with 11 percent, level with the SPOe’s Rudolf Hundstorfer.

This wasn’t some regional uprising in a few urban population centers. Check out how the vote spread out across Austria. In terms of the map key, the blue districts are the the ones carried by Hofer’s FPOe. The greens are, well… the same environmental greens we have in the U.S. The black districts were carried by the actual conservatives (similar to those in America) while the handful of red districts were taken by the currently ruling social democrats in the SPOe and the OeVP.



That’s not just a “victory” for Hofer… that’s what some of our more blunt friend here at home would call a proper, old fashioned butt whooping. Further, while this is only the preliminary phase of the election process for Austria, the coalition currently in control didn’t even garner enough support to make it into the runoff election one month from now. Whatever the electorate looks like when all the dust settles, it’s not going to be a win for those supporting the current, immigrant friendly parties.

It’s not as if there weren’t warning signs of the anti-immigrant fervor sweeping Austria. Earlier this year we saw how fears over rising crime and other problems from the “Muslim invasion” had led to record breaking sales of shotguns there, with most dealers being sold out. And the unrest has continued since then. Perhaps sensing the shifting of the tide, Austria began imposing tougher controls at their border with Italy to stem the flow of migrants. The socialists who continue to support open borders and unlimited immigration responded in their typical, peaceful, reasonable fashion to the news. They rioted. (Daily Mail)

The shock result was registered as riot police used batons and pepper spray in clashes with protesters fighting controversial new controls at the country’s border with Italy.

Scuffles broke out when several hundred demonstrators tried to breach police barriers at the Brenner Pass where Austria has said it will toughen controls in response to unprecedented migrant flows into Europe.

Protesters who gathered at the border this morning wore orange life jackets in a sign of solidarity with the thousands of African and Asian migrants who have drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean, and brandished a large banner with the slogan ‘People Over Borders.’…

A similar demonstration at the Brenner Pass on April 3 resulted in more serious clashes, in which two Austrian police officers were injured.


Hang on to your hats, Europe. The tide of history appears to be shifting and the love affair with socialism and open borders is fracturing. This round of Austrian elections is only one of many where Europeans are rejecting current policies and looking for new solutions. When you don’t listen to them, you risk being swept away. I’m sure that’s on Chancellor Werner Faymann’s mind this morning.


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