Austria - Political parties

Party descriptions and CMP left-right scores
Party Type 90 94 95 99 02 Average
SPÖ Social Democratic -7.6 -11.1 20.8 -19.3 -17.6 -6.9
ÖVP Christian Democratic 4.8 24.6 40.4 15.2 -0.6 16.9
FPÖ Liberal 14.9 47.8 55.7 25 6 29.9
BZÖ Liberal/Protest
Grüne Ecologist -12.4 6.6 19.7 -1.3 -16.7 -0.8

The table shows the periodical scores on left-right position as given in the Comparative Manifesto Project (Volkens, Andrea,, 2010). The scores range from -100 (left) to +100 (right).

Type: Tentative grouping of political parties and alliances based on information provided in the Comparative Manifesto Project and from party descriptions in Europa World Yearbook, Encyclopædia Britannica and in election reports from the European Journal of Political Research and/or Electoral Studies.

SPÖ - The Social Democratic Party - (Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs)

Founded in 1945. It is a successor of the original Social Democratic Party (founded in 1889), which was a driving force in the establishment of the First Austrian Republic in 1918. SPÖ has played a decisive role in Austrian politics in the post World War II era and except from the three years between 1966 and 1970, the SPÖ held government responsibility alone or as part of a coalition until the elections in 2002. The recent party manifestos attempt to preserve a certain degree of ideological continuity (create a society free from classes), while taking into account new circumstances (e.g. the predominant position of the market economy, the individualization of society etc.).

ÖVP - The Austrian People’s Party - (Österreichische Volkspartei)

The ÖVP is the successor of the Christian Social Party founded in 1893. When the ÖVP was founded in 1945 it sought to modernize and to loosen its ties to the Roman Catholic Church. The party represents a combination of conservative forces and various social and economic groups that form semi-independent federations within the overall party. Advocates an ecologically orientated social market economy.

FPÖ - The Freedom Party of Austria - (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs)

FPÖ was formed in 1955 as a successor to the League of Independents. It is sometimes reffered to as the Liberal Party, and has its ideological roots in liberalism and nationalism. It is considered a populist right-wing party; progressive and anticollectivist in character. Party popularity grew rapidly under Jörg Haider's leadership, 1986-2000. Stands for moderate social reform and advocates the participation of workers in management, stricter immigration controls and deregulation in the business sector. Opposes Austria’s membership of the EU.

BZÖ - Alliance for the Future of Austria - (Bündnis Zukunft Österreich)

Founded in 2005 by split from Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPÖ); proponent of social market economy, controlled immigration and protection of Austria’s cultural identity. It entered the legislature in 2006.

Grüne - Austrian Green Party - (Die Grünen - Die Grüne Alternative)

Founded in 1986 and was the first party not to represent any of the traditional ideological camps. Campaigns for environmental protection, peace and social justice, the rights of minorities and socio-ecological tax reform.


Political Organizations (Austria). 2009. In Europa World online. London, Routledge. University of Bergen. Retrieved October 2009 from

Austria. (2009). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved November 2009, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online:

Electoral Studies (Elsevier), election reports on Austria.

European Journal of Political Research (European Consortium for Political Research), reports on Austria.

Budge, I.; Klingemann, H.-D.; Volkens, A.; Bara, J.; Tanenbaum, E., with Fording, R.C.; Hearl, D.J.; Kim, H.M.; McDonald, M. and Mendez, S. (2001). Mapping Policy Preferences. Estimates for Parties, Electors, and Governments 1945-1998. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Klingemann, H.D.; Volkens, A.; Bara, J.; Budge, I.; McDonald, M. (2006). Mapping Policy Preferences II. Estimates for Parties, Electors, and Governments in Eastern Europe, the European Union and the OECD, 1990-2003. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Volkens, Andrea; Lacewell, Onawa; Regel, Sven; Schultze, Henrike; Werner, Annika (2010): The Manifesto Data Collection. Manifesto Project (MRG/CMP/MARPOR), Berlin: Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB):