Herbert Kickl, leader of the eurosceptic Austria Freedom Party

News Vote 24

Austria: FPÖ tops EP elections with ‘Stop the EU madness’ campaign


The Eurosceptic Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) has topped the country’s European Elections after it ran under the slogan “Stop the EU Madness”.

FPÖ managed to garner 27 per cent of the vote with the campaign, with the win seeing it double the number of MEPs in Brussels.

It is the first time the party has topped an Austrian election, with the June 9 vote overtaking the People’s Party (ÖVP) and giving the FPÖ’s leader Herbert Kickl hopes of a big win in the country’s general elections in September.

Kickl, a former interior minister increasingly spoken of as Austria’s chancellor in waiting, said the Freedom Party won six of Austria’s 20 MEP seats by standing for “everything that is important: neutrality, freedom, prosperity, security, peace, and the preservation of our identity”.

On June 9, the party posted on X: “Asylum crisis, Corona-chaos, warmongering, and eco-communism — are you fed up with all of this?”

State broadcaster Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF) said that by focusing on such issues, the Freedom Party “managed to turn the EU election into a protest vote”.

In a survey by ORF, two-thirds of voters backing the FPÖ in European elections called making a domestic political statement a “very important motive”.

Kickl’s party lured away 221,000 unhappy voters from the 1.3 million who in 2019 had backed the People’s Party — the party of Chancellor Karl Nehammer, which now governs in coalition with the Green Party.

It also attracted 100,000 votes from those who did not take part in the 2019 EP elections, which helped it secure a larger share than any other party.

The FPÖ belongs to the EP’s hard-Eurosceptic Identity and Democracy (ID) bloc. One of the party’s first moves after the election, Kickl suggested, would be to pressure the ID into readmitting Germany’s AfD.