Hofer vs Van der Bellen: Who has a better chance of becoming Austria’s president?

If you look at the short period of time between the first and second round of presidential election which candidate was in your opinion more effective in sending the message to supporters and especially to undecided voters and what was the main message of Norbert Hofer and his rival Alexander Van der Bellen? Read few comments.

Anton PelinkaProfessor of Nationalism Studies and Political Science, Central European University

Van der Bellen must reach many more voters who have neither voted for him or for Hofer. Van der Bellen received many endorsements – from leading conservatives as well as social democrats and from Irmgard Griess, the candidate who came in third in the first round. In that respect, Van der Bellen has a fair chance to win. Van der Bellen’s main argument: As much as possible must be done to prevent a FPOe- dominance; and to keep Austria on a pro-European course. Hofer has emphasized a kind of “Austria First” course, underlining his critical distance regarding European integration.

Reinhard Heinisch, Professor of Austrian Politics in Comparative European Perspective, Department of Political Science, Chair, University of Salzburg

I do not detect any big shift and internally the period between the first and second round has been rather subdued in Austria in contrast to the attention this received outside – I gave an extensive interview to the Washington Post and many other media. So there was a disconnect between Austria and the rest. This suggests that nothing much will change in the second round unless the new chancellor and the new government team will have an effect in bringing a different group of voters to the polls (such as if they can reactivate SPÖ non-voters who were going to stay home. The new chancellor stated unmistakably that he was going to vote for VdB. The polls give Hofer and advantage but we shall see.




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