Some advice for Werner Faymann.

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austrianresult.pngThe Austrians had yet another election yesterday, and it wasn't a pretty sight. Just like Germany, the centre-left and centre-right were in a grand coalition, and if I were in the German SPD or CDU I'd be looking over the border in alarm.

The equivalent centrist parties are down, although they are still the largest parties. Depressingly, the main winners were two extreme rightwing groupings. There's also a strong Green vote, just short of 10%.

There are also, unusually for Europe, no leftists and no liberals, which reduces the options significantly. The results are above - click for a larger image.

92 seats is a majority, and the permutations are grim. Again, a grand coalition is the only way two parties can get to that number. There are no other options to make a majority without the hard right, and for the centre-right to make any other majority they'd need both lots of extremists.

Anyway, it's a mess. Werner Faymann is the social democrat leader and the likely Chancellor, and there's an obvious way out for him - minority government. The Greens will be sensible ad hoc partners, and on budgets and other key legislation he'd need to woo the centre-right. 

There is a silver lining - the two extremist parties hate each other, and may well vote opposite ways just to spite each other. Sometimes they will win votes, sure, but only if they overcome their animosity to each other, and bring the centre-right in as well. 

It's the only answer to a grim question. Come over, Herr Faymann, have a chat to Salmond and see how you too could learn to stop worrying and love minority administration.

Update: my calculations above were wrong, and the SPD could get to 93 seats with the FPÖ - that's the only other two-party coalition that could work. Except for the ideological gulf, of course.


No liberal party? Until 1986 the FPO was quite similar in many ways to our own liberal democrats. Then Jorg Haider took over as leader, and took their 'populism' to it's logical conclusion...

Could this be calamity clegg's new direction? After all, they are now the only party demanding that we tax-cut our way out of a recession...

I wonder if we could even see a Kenyan coalition of the Black (OVP) Red (SPD) and Greens - might be worth it took keep the BZO and FPO out...

Well, there's no current liberal party as we know it, I think it'd be fair to say.

Also, the Kenyan option sounds a bit unlikely, no, given that the Greens wouldn't be needed for the numbers? Surely that's a recipe for a shafting.

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