Austria: Elections take place in the Austrian Economic Chambers
In February 2015, the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich) and its nine affiliates in each of the nine provinces held elections to renew their representation. In these elections, which take place every five years, members of the chamber vote for different representative groups, most of them affiliated to one of the country’s major political parties. The votes determine the political composition of various bodies and committees within the chamber and, ultimately, the appointment of its president. Traditionally, the Austrian Economic League (Österreichischer Wirtschaftsbund), an organisation affiliated to the conservative Austrian People’s Party, controls the Chamber of Commerce (whereas the Social Democratic Party dominates in the Chamber of Labour).
The elections largely confirmed this situation. The Economic League won 66.6% of the vote and has, therefore, a comfortable majority, even though support decreased by 4.4% compared to the last election in 2010. The Social Democratic Business Association came second with 10.8% of the vote, which is 1% less than in 2015. The Ring Freiheitlicher Wirtschaftstreibender, a group associated with the Austrian Freedom Party, increased its share by 1% to 10.8%. The greatest increase, from 5.8% to 9.1%, was recorded by the Green Economy group, affiliated to the Green Party. A new group called Unos, affiliated to the liberal party Neos, won 2% of the vote.
The Economic League also defended its leading position in all of the nine provincial chambers. However, in Vienna, with 50.6% of the vote, its majority is rather narrow. And while the Unos won 6.1% and the Green Economy Group increased its share by 3.5%, the Social Democractic Business Association and the Ring Freiheitlicher Wirtschaftstreibender suffered considerable losses.
The website of the Austrian Economic Chambers provides a breakdown of the election results.