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The Schüssel Era in Austria

 | 
Günter Bischof
, 
Fritz Plasser

I. Personality and Leadership

Rollercoaster: Schüssels’ Electoral (Mis)fortunes and the Dynamics of Public Approval

Fritz Plasser et Peter A. Ulram

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Extrait du texte

Wolfgang Schüssel’s political career and the electoral performance of the Austrian People’s Party (Österreichische Volkspartei, or ÖVP) between 1995, the year in which Schüssel took over the party chair, and 2006, the year when an electoral defeat ended his chancellorship, compare to a political rollercoaster ride. Under Schüssel’s leadership, the ÖVP fell to third place among Austria’s major political parties for the first time in 1999, rose in 2002 after a fulminant election victory to become the strongest party by far, and fell again back to the second place behind the Social Democratic Party of Austria (Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs, or SPÖ) in 2006.1 Twice Schüssel terminated the government coalition prematurely. In 1995, he canceled the great coalition with the SPÖ on short notice, thereby provoking early elections which, however, did not bring the expected gains for the ÖVP. In 2002, he terminated the coalition partnership again in face of chaotic controversies withi...

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