After the elections of mayors and local councils on 28th of February 2016, the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) remains strongest force in Tyrol, Austria. The right-wing Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) recorded a gain in votes as well, whereas the Social Democrats (SPÖ) had to face heavy defeats. The votes were casted in 277 communities except in Innsbruck, the federal state’s capital, where elections will take place in 2018.
The ÖVP managed to achieve the absolute majority in several local councils, e.g. in Landeck, Axams and Zams. Moreover, the mayors of Kitzbühel Klaus Winkler and of Schwaz Hans Lintner were confirmed in their offices. In Kufstein, however, the People’s Party plummeted from around 30% to 13.8%. They lost more than half of the seats in the council.
For the SPÖ, the Election Day was also marked by decreasing figures. Amongst others, seats were lost in former strongholds such as Jenbach, Landeck, Hall and Rum. Nonetheless, the mayoresses of Lienz and Wörgl were able to assert themselves against their contestants. Elisabeth Blanik gained 62.3% of the votes in Lienz and Heidi Wechner 54% in Wörgl.
As opposed to the Social Democrats, the elections turned out to be successful for the FPÖ. The Freedom Party has become the second strongest power in Kufstein, Wörgl, Schwaz and St Johann. Furthermore, it generated the absolute majority in the local council of Jenbach where it also provides the new mayor Günter Resch. The latter gained 53.3% of the votes and thereby defeated the other three candidates straightaway. In St. Jakob and Rattenberg two FPÖ-candiates are up for a second ballot.
Around 71% of the Tyrol population entitled to vote went to the ballots on Sunday. In 23 communities runoff elections will take place on 13th of March 2016, as no candidate reached an absolute majority.