Voting: The EU elections are in full swing in Austria

Together with his wife Doris Schmidauer, the head of state attended the Vienna University of Music. He later told reporters: “I expect a majority that recognizes the need for a united Europe.”

He expressed no concern about the possibility of a shift to the right. “I’m not afraid of anything,” he answered a question, “but I adjust to new situations,” van der Bellen said.

APA/AFP/Joe Glammer

Doris Schmidauer and Alexander Van der Bellen voted

The leading candidates voted

Reinhold Lopatka (ÖVP) was the first candidate to be voted from a single party. He appeared with his wife Francisca at the Greinbach municipal office in Benzendorf, north of Hartberg in eastern Styria, when the polls opened at 8am. Lopatka was optimistic. The aim is to emerge as a strong party.

SPÖ candidate Andreas Schieder voted in Vienna-Leopoldstadt. He starts the day with a “positive feeling”. During the election campaign, the SPÖ and he as a person received a lot of support, which Scheider said he hoped would be reflected in the votes.

FPÖ front-runner Harald Wilimski, like the federal president, voted at the Vienna University of Music. He named the electoral goal as “as many votes as possible” and a “red-white-red majority” and was embedded in the largest possible center-right coalition.

Green Front candidate Lena Schilling votes in Vienna-Meitling. About the election goal of 500,000 votes for the Greens, he was cautious: “We’ll see,” but of course it remains his election goal.

NEOS top candidate Helmut Brandstätter went to the Vienna-Bötzleinsdorf ballot box surrounded by his family. His interest in the “United States” of Europe promoted by his party during the election campaign made him positive.

Minor parties emphasize trust

KPÖ front-runner Günther Hopfgartner voted in Vienna-Mariahilf. He expressed his hope before the press that the Communists would enter the European Parliament. Maria Habmer-Mock, the first candidate on the DNA (Democratic – Neutral – Real) list, appeared on the ballot.
There is also hope in the north-eastern cross district of Mariatrost.

6.37 million voters are eligible

A total of 6.37 million people are eligible to vote. 7 parties compete for 20 seats in the European Parliament. There are 9,856 polling booths in the country and the doors first opened at 6 am. Minimum voting age is 16 years. Austrian citizens, Austrians abroad and citizens of other EU countries who have their main residence in this country are eligible to vote.

What you need to know about the EU elections?

The European Union elections, one of the world’s biggest democratic elections, are already in full swing. The Netherlands will start elections on Thursday, followed by Ireland and the Czech Republic on Friday, while EU elections in Slovakia, Latvia and Malta began on Saturday. However, most countries like Austria vote on Sunday.

Seven parties are contesting the elections. In addition to the five parliamentary parties ÖVP, SPÖ, FPÖ, Greens and NEOS, the KPÖ and the CoV activities-critical DNA (Democratic – Neutral – Authentic) are also entering the race. At least four percent of the vote is required to enter the European Parliament.

Graphic of EU political groups

Graphics: APA/ORF; Source: European Parliament

720 delegates were elected across Europe. This is 15 more than the EU elections five years ago. Austria has 20 seats, one more than in 2019. There are currently seven parliamentary committees in the European Union Parliament. The largest is the European People’s Party (EPP), to which the ÖVP belongs, followed by the social democratic S&D, of which the SPÖ is a part, and the liberal Renewal Europe NEOS.

The FPÖ belongs to the far-right party Identity and Democracy (ID), the Green Party belongs to the European Green Party. So far, the right-wing European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and the left have no Austrian representatives.

Studies show that right-wing parties are gaining ground

About 370 million people in 27 member states have the right to vote. Apart from Austria, 19 other countries elect their representatives to the European Parliament on Sunday. Across Europe, the Netherlands began on Thursday.

According to predictions, far-right factions EKR and ID will emerge strongly from the election. In Austria, the FPÖ is currently clearly first in the polls. Five years ago, the ÖVP became the strongest force, with the SPÖ coming in second, followed by the Freedom Party, the Greens and NEOS.

In 2019, the turnout in this country was almost 60 percent. According to a recently published representative survey by the Austrian Association for European Politics (ÖGfE), 50 percent want to vote this year and 21 percent want to vote soon.

Trend forecast at 5pm, results at 11pm

ORF, APA news agency and private broadcaster Puls24 will jointly issue a trend forecast on EU election results at 5pm. The basis for this is provided by surveys conducted by Institute Foresight, ARGE Elections and Peter Hajek during election week. Unlike forecasts, trend forecasting does not have a district end. This procedure was already used in the 2019 EU elections.

As required by the EU Commission, election officials are only allowed to send the results after the EU-wide polls have finished, which, as in 2019, will happen at 11 p.m. The EU Parliament will publish estimates and forecasts of results in member states from 6:15 p.m. From 8:15 there will be a first prediction on the future structure of the European Parliament.

Also time table

If defeated in the election, the newly elected representatives will begin the process of forming parliamentary committees from June 10. The first session will be held from July 16 to 19. Members of Parliament elect a new president. Formerly held by Roberta Metzola (EPP) from Malta.

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