The Mainstream Political Parties in Austria See Cuts in Total Vote Share

Austria's two mainstream political parties are worried because their total vote share cut in half over the last two decades. It has happened because of a new political conflict lines that have emerged over immigration, EU integration and political trust.

According to a new study, radical right has sought the greatest support from sociological groups. The groups have been previously associated with social democracy.

The patterns of political competition have been challenged by the demands of radical right in many European party systems. Since the mid-1980s, the Austrian Freedom Party has become a well-established feature of the Austrian party system. It recorded a share of 26.9% of the vote in 1999.

In 2002, its vote share dropped substantially after its first participation in government. But in 2008, it jumped back and obtained 17.5% of the vote share.

As per the data from the Austrian National Election Study, there are socio-structural differences mainly between the supporters of Austrian Freedom Party (FPO), Austrian Peoples' Party (OVP) and Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPO).

The study suggested that FPO supporters are most similar to SPO supporters when it comes to education and occupation. There are only 20% of their supporters that actually have an upper-secondary school-leaving certificate or above in comparison to around 30% of OVP supporters.

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