Austria’s Anti-Lockdown ‘Freedom Party’ Gains State, National Momentum in Elections

The Freedom of Austria party has become the most popular in the country, recent election polling reveals.

  • Austria’s Freedom Party (FPÖ), known for its strict policies on immigration and opposition to Russian sanctions, has regained national popularity for the first time in years and recently secured a historic victory in local state elections.
    • Described as a “polling earthquake” by an Austrian media outlet, the party is now expected to win the country’s national elections by 28 percent of the vote.
  • FPÖ, Austria’s sole party committed to standing against COVID lockdowns, won 24.2 percent of the vote in Lower Austria last weekend.
  • “These are bad times for those in government because people are dissatisfied with the situation,” Austria’s Chancellor Karl Nehammer said.
  • Experts say the party has gained popularity with its dedication to an Austria-first agenda to combat the various issues hitting Europe.
  • “You have two issues where the Freedom Party … distinguishes itself from all other parties: the coronavirus and the Ukraine war,” Laurenz Ennser-Jedenastik, a political scientist at the University of Vienna said. “And then there’s the return of the migration issue, where the (Freedom Party) is also most favorably positioned to reap all the benefits.”
  • The freedom party has led national polls since this earlier last fall, averaging around 27% in most surveys, beating the Social Democrats with around 25% and the People’s Party around 21%.

“Corruption has been voted out,” Hafenecker said. “This is the beginning.”

  • The election results come as the latest count of Ukrainian refugees living in Austria soars above 90,000 people.
  • “We help when it’s necessary. But now it’s enough; now it’s too much,” Ferdinand Aigner, mayor of St. Georgen im Attergau in Upper Austria, said in November 2022.
  • Aigner ordered more than a dozen tents removed that were filled with Ukrainian asylum seekers.
  • In the United States, a growing number of people believe the Biden administration is sending too much aid to Ukraine, according to a new Pew Research poll.
  • Published earlier this week, the poll revealed that 26% of Americans believe the US is giving more than necessary to the European country, up 7% from March 2022.
  • Since the first poll conducted last year, the current administration has allocated more than $110 billion in taxpayer funds to Ukraine.