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The Schüssel Era in Austria

 | 
Günter Bischof
, 
Fritz Plasser

Annual Review

Austria 2008

Reinhold Gärtner

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Elections in Tyrol, 8 June 2008

Since 1945, the Austrian People’s Party (Österreichische Volkspartei, or ÖVP) had been the strongest political party in Tyrol, with solid majorities of sometimes more than 60 percent (in 1984, 64.6 percent). This changed dramatically in 1989 (48.7 percent), but until 2008, the ÖVP was able to maintain this lead.

In 2008, a new political party ran for election: the Citizens’ Forum Austria (Liste Fritz Dinkhauser—Bürgerforum Tirol, or Liste Fritz). Fritz Dinkhauser, chairman of this party, was previously a member of the ÖVP and president of the Chamber of Labor (Arbeiterkammer) from 1991 until 2008 and had enjoyed reasonable success in the Tyrol. But he decided to form a new political party and run for election.

In this, he was successful. He gained 18.4 percent and seven (of thirty-six) seats in the Tyrolean parliament. The ÖVP lost dramatically (49.9 percent in 2003; 40.4 percent in 2008) and so did the Social Democratic Party of Austria (Sozialdemokrati...

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