The Austrian Election: Van der Bellen outperforms his polls [again]

An election autopsy.

Alex Halada, AFP

We have been covering the Austrian Election since late September. The election is a re-vote of the runoff election held between the far-right Norbert Hofer and center-left Alexander Van der Bellen, in which Van der Bellen narrowly won. The result however was overturned by the Austrian High Court which ruled that voting irregularities occurred.

The election results of each round of voting.

Van der Bellen improved on his original results by about 3 points. Official results aren’t out yet, but it appears turnout was up.

Our model gave Van der Bellen a 45% chance of winning. He was down in the polls, but we expected him to outperform his polls as he had done before. Our projected vote share was around 50–50, with a narrow edge towards Hofer. Our model’s projected vote share was still off by around 3 points, but was still somewhat closer than the polling average.

That being said, Van der Bellen winning was not out of question, just being 5% away from the probability of winning a coin toss in our model.

The simulation we ran also gave this scenario of a healthy win for Van der Bellen (Greater than 52% of the vote), around a 13% chance of occurring.

Overall, Van der Bellen’s win shouldn’t be all that surprising, he over performed his polling average before. It is a glaring set back to the growing far-right movement sweeping the West, but not a major one. Eyes are set on the upcoming elections in the Netherlands, France, and Germany. What happens there shall be the real determiners of the political direction of Europe.