Austrians supportive of conservative coalition government despite corruption scandal: poll

Austrians appear supportive of a conservative government coalition ahead of the Sept. 29 legislative election despite the same alliance having been brought down by a corruption scandal just last May, a new poll has shown.

Released on Thursday, the poll by marketing company OGM conducted on behalf of the Kurier newspaper showed that 32 percent of poll respondents support a renewed coalition between the center-right People’s Party (OVP) led by former chancellor Sebastian Kurz and the right-wing populist Freedom Party (FPO).

The same two parties were in a coalition following the 2017 legislative elections until a corruption scandal known as the “Ibiza affair” involving the FPO rocked the political establishment last May, and led to a complete collapse in the government, replaced by a caretaker cabinet.

An OGM poll at the beginning of June had support for an OVP-FPO coalition at a considerably lower 24 percent.

In second place was a three-way left-leaning coalition between the centre-left Social Democrats (SPO) and minor parties the Greens and Neos with 26 percent support.

A similar grouping with the OVP instead joining forces with the two minor parties had the backing of only 11 percent of respondents, despite receiving a much higher 30 percent support in the June poll in the immediate aftermath of the Ibiza scandal.

Only 11 percent of poll respondents wished to see a return of the so-called “grand coalition” between the OVP and the SPO, by far the most common coalition configuration in post-war Austria.

Some media speculation had revolved around a possible alliance between the FPO and the SPO, though the unlikely partnership appears to be seen as such by the public, only six percent declaring their support.