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Austria, Presidential election

Long term
Will president Van der Bellen stay in office for the complete term?01.04.22 08:00

Austrian presidential elections

Who will become president?

Austria has a new head of state! On 4 December 2016, the repeat of the run-off vote of the presidential elections took place. The winner was Alexander van der Bellen. He therefore succeeds Heinz Fischer and is the 12th federal president. The next elections will take place in 2022. bet-at-home has all the bets for the presidential elections with top odds.

Top bets for the Austrian presidential elections

You can find all information about the Austrian presidential elections and betting tips from our experts in the bet-at-home blog!

The 2016 presidential elections

The 2016 presidential elections were ones for the history books: Elections, run-off vote, contestation, annulment, repeat of the vote and postponement of the repeat are unique. In the end, about 6.4 million citizens were called to the polls to vote for a third time on 4 December. Alexander van der Bellen prevailed against Norbert Hofer with 53.3% in the presidential elections.

Result of the presidential elections on 4 December 2016 (voter turnout: 74.2%):

Candidates Votes
Alexander Van der Bellen 53,3%
Norbert Hofer 46,7%

President Heinz Fischer

Heinz Fischer had been the Austrian president since 2004. After two terms of six years each in office it was clear that a new head of state will be elected in 2016. A total of 6 candidates ran in the first ballot of the presidential elections on 24 April. The last time this many names were on the ballot paper was in 1951. According to §17 of the presidential election law, one candidate has to receive an absolute majority of votes in order to be elected into office. If this is not the case, a run-off vote decides between the two candidates with the most votes in the first ballot.

Result of the presidential elections on 24 April 2016 (voter turnout: 68.5%):

Candidate Votes
Norbert Hofer 35,1%
Alexander Van der Bellen 21,3%
Irmgard Griss 18,9%
Rudolf Hundstorfer 11,3%
Andreas Khol 11,1%
Richard Lugner 2,3%

Presidential elections – 1st run-off vote

On 22 May 2016, the run-off vote between Norbert Hofer and Alexander van der Bellen took place. The preliminary official final result on the evening of election day was so close that a winner could not be determined due to the postal votes which were not included. Without the postal vote, Norbert Hofer had 51.93% of the votes and Alexander van der Bellen had 48.07%. After all postal votes had been counted, Home Secretary Wolfgang Sobotka announced the preliminary official final result of the presidential elections on 23 May at 16:43. According to that, Alexander van der Bellen overtook FPÖ candidate Hofer thanks to the postal votes and was the designated president.

Result of the 2nd ballot of the presidential elections on 22 May 2016:

Candidate Votes
Alexander Van der Bellen 50,35%
Norbert Hofer 49,65%

Contestation of the run-off vote

The FPÖ soon announced that they were considering a contestation of the presidential elections. This has to be brought up to the constitutional court within 8 days of the publication of the official election results. The official results were announced on 1 June and therefore the time frame for a contestation ended on 9 June. On 8 June, FPÖ chairman Heinz-Christian Strache finally handed in the written complaint, according to which unlawful events occurred during the counting of the postal votes in 94 of the 117 district electoral offices. Postal votes were supposedly counted early, pre-sorted or counted without an election commission.

Decision of the constitutional court

The contestation must be judged within four weeks of being handed in. This time frame ended on 6 July and therefore two days before the planned inauguration of the new president. Witnesses were questioned publicly by the constitutional court between 20 and 23 June. 76 persons from 20 district election commissions, where severe infringements were supposed to have occurred, were questioned. Further, representatives of the parties were heard on 29 June before the result of the examination was announced on 1 July.

Annulment of the run-off vote

The constitutional court sustained the contestation and annulled the run-off vote in the entire federal territory. Therefore, the presidential elections had to be repeated in all of Austria. No manipulations were discovered, however, the unlawful occurrences during the count could have influenced the result. The procedure regarding the postal votes, but also the forwarding of the results to the media from 13:00, therefore prior to all polling stations closing, were criticized.

The problem with the voting cards

Prior to the repeat of the run-off vote, several defective voting cards appeared. A faulty adhesive strip on the envelopes caused the cards to open on the sides. Thus, a valid vote via postal vote cannot be guaranteed that way. After an assessment of the state of affairs and the recommendation to postpone by the Home Secretary, the national council passed a law that made this possible.

Top bets on politics

You can find more politics bets on international events here: National Council elections, 2020 US elections, Federal elections.
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