Parliamentary Chamber: Nationalrat


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Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  7 October 1990

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in the National Council following premature dissolution of this body. The Council’s term would normally have expired in December 1990; previous general elections had been held on 23 November 1986.

Background and outcome of elections:

  The 1990 general elections were slightly premature. Dissolution of the National Council was approved on 5 July 1990.

As the previous (1986) poll, the main contenders for the 183 National Council seats were the ruling Socialist Party (SP), the conservative People’s Party (VP) and the right-wing Freedom Party (FP). The VP, headed by Mr. Josef Riegler, was the partner in the outgoing Government coalition led by Chancellor Franz Vranitzky (SP).

During the campaign, debate focused largely on domestic issues and mutual accusations between the parties. The Socialists - in power since 1970 - had been hurt by a series of corruption scandals; they centred their campaign on the personality of the Chancellor. Mr. Jrg Haider, the populist head of the FP, campaigned strongly against immigration, especially from Eastern Europe; he characterized the two coalition partners as “old parties devoid of new ideas”.

Voting results left the SP as the largest single party as the runner-up VP lost 17 seats - its worst score in decades; the FP, however, nearly doubled its representation to arrive at 33. As four years earlier, the outcome once again reflected the electorate’s shift to the right side of the political spectrum.

On 9 October, President of the Republic Kurt Waldheim asked Mr. Vranitzky to form a new Government. On 17 December, the latter was sworn in as Federal Chancellor at the head, once again, of a “grand coalition” of the SP and the VP.

Round no 1 (7 October 1990): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 5,628,912
Voters 4,848,741 (86.14%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 143,847
Valid votes 4,704,894

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Socialist Party (SP) 183 2,012,787 41.51
People’s Party (VP) 183 1,508,600 31.11
Freedom Party (FP) 183 782,648 16.14
Green Alternatives 183 225,081 4.64
Communist Party (KP) 183 25,685 0.52

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Socialist Party (SP) 80 =
People’s Party (VP) 60 -17
Freedom Party (FP) 33 +15
Green Alternatives 10 +2
Communist Party (KP) 0 =

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 144
Women: 39

Distribution of seats according to age:  
Under 30 years 4
31 - 40 years 32
41 - 50 years 77
51 - 60 years 59
Over 60 years and above 11

Distribution of seats according to profession:

Public civil service 64
Employees of social security institutions, trade unions, political parties 39
Industry & trade 29
Commerce & traffic 20
Liberal professions 15
Farming & forestry 13
Household 2
Others 1

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Copyright 1990 Inter-Parliamentary Union