Social Democratic Party of Austria

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Social Democratic Party of Austria
Logo of the SPÖ
Party leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner
Pamela Rendi-Wagner
vice-chairman Michael Häupl
Renate Brauner
Doris Bures
Hans Peter Doskozil
Astrid Eisenkopf
Birgit Gerstorfer
Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek
Julia Herr
Peter Kaiser
Jörg Leichtfried
Michael Ludwig
Andreas Schieder
Elvira Schmidt
Franz Schnabl
Martin Staudinger
Walter Steidl
Selma Yildirim
Club hostess Pamela Rendi-Wagner
Federal Managing Director Christian German
founding December 30, 1888 - January 1, 1889
Place of foundation Hainfeld (Lower Austria)
Headquarters Vienna 1. , Löwelstraße 18
National Council mandates
Federal Council mandates
Seats in state parliaments
Government grants 55.7 million euros (2018)
Number of members 157,855 (February 2020)
Party structure 9 national organizations
114 district organizations
3589 local sections
Minimum age 16
Alignment Social democracy
International connections Socialist International , Progressive Alliance
Mandates in the European Parliament
European party Party of European Socialists (PES)
EP club S&D
colour red

The Social Democratic Party of Austria ( SPÖ ) is one of the oldest existing parties in Austria and the first representative of the country's political left . Founded in 1889 in Hainfeld , Lower Austria, as the Social Democratic Workers 'Party (SDAP), it was called the Social Democratic Workers' Party of German Austria (SDAP) from 1918 to 1934 . It was banned during Austro-fascism and the Nazi dictatorship . From 1945 to 1991 the party name was the Socialist Party of Austria.Since June 1945, the SPÖ has its party headquarters in Löwelstraße 18 in the first district in Vienna, which is why the Löwelstraße regarding the SPÖ mostly in a figurative sense stands for the federal party.

The positions represented by the SPÖ are written down in party programs . The current basic program was adopted in 2018.

As of 1945, the SPÖ provided the Federal Chancellor in 16 of 32 federal governments , and six out of nine Federal Presidents of the Second Republic were SPÖ members or were supported by the party when they took office (most recently Heinz Fischer 2004-2016). Furthermore, it currently (2020) provides three of the nine provincial governors ( Vienna , Burgenland and Carinthia ). After the defeat in the 2017 National Council election, she went into government opposition.

Content profile

In its basic program, decided on at the 1998 party congress, the SPÖ is committed to social democracy , to the values ​​of freedom, equality, justice, solidarity and full employment. At the same time, however, the need for political liberalization, modernization and change is also discussed.

Foreign and European policy

The SPÖ sees European unification as a crucial peace project to resolve conflicts between states and ethnic groups. Regardless of the program, SPÖ boss Werner Faymann announced referendums on future EU treaties in his legendary letter to the Kronen Zeitung in 2008.

Educational policy

Education is seen as a basic social right in the SPÖ program. Accordingly, the SPÖ advocates equal opportunities , one of the central demands is the common school for 6- to 14-year-olds as a model of the comprehensive school. Another concern is the nationwide expansion of affordable and needs-based childcare and the reduction of compulsory schooling to the age of five. In the field of studies, the SPÖ demands free access to Austrian universities. In 2008, for example, the tuition fees introduced a few years earlier were abolished. The party is also committed to securing democratic rights of participation in the ÖH .

Social policy

Equality for women and the tolerance of ethnic minorities are seen as important. The SPÖ wants to force intercultural dialogue and advocates the integration of immigrants . In the fight against lack of freedom and discrimination , she campaigns against terror, torture and the death penalty . The 2008 election manifesto also addresses the issue of homosexuality and thus advocates social equality for same-sex couples.

Domestic and security policy

The SPÖ supports the introduction of a professional army and also promoted it in the 2013 referendum on compulsory military service . The SPÖ refuses to join a military alliance or a joint European army .

Social and economic policy

In accordance with the principles of social democracy, the aim of the SPÖ is a society in which all class differences have been overcome. According to the SPÖ, any form of work between men and women should be distributed fairly. The SPÖ names full employment as the goal. It strives for the accessibility of public facilities for everyone regardless of social status. In addition, it demands what it sees as a fair employment relationship and the right of co-determination of employees in companies as the basis for social and economic development. Furthermore, she advocates a tax system that ensures a fair distribution of income and wealthallowed. The SPÖ sees the state as the carrier of an active economic policy. She rejects the privatization policy pursued by SPÖ-led governments in the early 1990s. During the election campaign for the National Council in 2008, central demands in the area of ​​economic and social policy were the introduction of needs-based minimum income and the capital gains tax .


Until 1934: Social Democratic Labor Party

Originated in a monarchy and a multi-ethnic state

The Austrian labor movement is not a child of the revolution of 1848 . Although workers stood on the barricades of Vienna, their actions were not yet based on class consciousness, but on the desire to wrest more rights for all citizens from the absolutist regime. After the defeat of the revolution, every movement of the workers in Austria-Hungary was suppressed for decades. An Austrian workers' movement was re-established a generation later, starting in 1867, as a subsidiary of the social democracy in Germany , whose ideological and organizational leadership role was based on the advance of industrialization in Saxony.

From there came the impetus to found the first workers' education associations , which - legalized with the December constitution of 1867 - contributed significantly to awakening the political consciousness of the Austrian working class. The work of the functionaries from the very beginning was based on the ideas of Ferdinand Lassalle and his General German Workers' Association (ADAV). Lassalle died just a year after the founding of the ADAV, which was then increasingly burdened by wing battles that led to splits. The ADAV merged in 1875 at the Gotha party congress with one of these branches, the (German) Social Democratic Workers' Party (SDAP)Socialist Workers' Party of Germany (SAPD). With the Gotha program , a compromise was reached between the Marxist program of the SDAP , decided in 1869 in Eisenach , Thuringia , and the more moderate ideas of the ADAV. The commitment to a revolutionary reorganization of the existing order was taken over by the Austrian activists of the labor movement, which, as in Germany, again led to repression and splits into moderate and anarchist groups.

The plan to found a united Austrian social democratic party came about in 1874 at a meeting of delegates from trade union workers' associations in Neudörfl, then Hungarian, and now Burgenland . In the following years this project could not be realized due to differences between moderate and anarchist groups. The Social Democratic Workers' Party (SDAP) was therefore only founded at the turn of the year 1888/1889 at the party congress from December 30, 1888 to January 1, 1889 in Hainfeld , Lower Austria , after the doctor for the poor, Victor Adler had succeeded in uniting the quite differently aligned groups across the language borders of the Cisleithan half of the empire.

The party saw itself as a representative of the workers' movement "of all kingdoms and countries represented in the Imperial Council", that is, Cisleithania . This colloquial term (“Land this side of the Leitha ”) arose after the Austro-Hungarian compromise of 1867, because the Crown Lands of Bohemia and Moravia had rejected “Austria” as discriminatory. In order to be accepted by Bohemian comrades too, the Workers' Party could not name itself “Austria” in 1888. The name was also an expression of the solidarity with the German Social Democratic Workers' Party (SDAP) of the same name before its merger with the ADAV. From her one also had the Marxist oneEisenacher program of the year 1869, based on the Communist Manifesto .

1889–1918: Victor Adler's “kk” social democracy

Victor Adler, party founder and chairman until 1918

Victor Adler swore the party on a moderate course, in which the Communist Manifesto was not present as a guideline, but as a vision of the future. The struggle for the right to vote was set as the first intermediate goal on this path into the future. At the same time, the founding of institutions for the education and improvement of the social situation of the working class was promoted, which strengthened their cohesion and led to increasing numbers of members, especially in Vienna , Bohemia and Moravia , but also in the industrialized areas of Styria, Upper and Lower Austria. Until his death, Victor Adler tended to stick to the reformist goals of the General German Workers' Associationand thus connected to the statistic teachings of Lassalle as those of Karl Marx . The unification party congress in Hainfeld was one of the steps taken by Victor Adler to transform social democracy into a party loyal to the state and the emperor and thus capable of a majority.

With his articles and slogans in the Arbeiter-Zeitung, Victor Adler also gave the impetus for May Day celebrations in the sense of an international workers' day in the spirit of non-violence. The Social Democrats (especially the Viennese workers) then held the largest rally ever to be seen in the city on May 1, 1890 in the Vienna Prater, with more than 100,000 participants. Even Emperor Franz Joseph I insisted on it, with his then 22-year-old daughter Marie ValerieTo drive through the Prater that day, where he was greeted warmly by “red walkers” and repeatedly thanked him himself. While the bourgeoisie and the bourgeois press spread panic in advance and foresaw violence, unrest and destruction, the socialist May Day celebrations were the first resounding, peaceful success of the Austrian workers.

The Wimberger party congress in 1897 was marked by nationality conflicts in old Austria , as a result of which national sections were formed in the party (Germans, Czechs, Poles, Italians, Ruthenians and South Slavs), which increasingly appeared as independent parties.

With the implementation of universal male suffrage in 1907, Viktor Adler achieved a historic compromise between the crown, bureaucracy and workers. On this basis, the SDAP was able to multiply its mandate in the elections in 1907. Contrary to the agitation of Karl Kautsky and the revolutionary part of the left, Victor Adler now particularly insisted that the new Social Democratic MPs should make a pilgrimage to the Hofburg after the election, in which they were the second strongest parliamentary group just behind the Christian Socials, according to the longstanding custom To hear the emperor's speech from the throne. The bourgeois press, which always tried to turn social democracy into revolutionary anti- HabsburgPushing the unrest and minority corner even painted the specter of a “socialist monarchy” on the wall. In 1911 the Social Democratic faction finally became the strongest faction in the Reichsrat .

Since the Imperial and Royal Prime Minister needed the trust of the monarch and not that of the Reichsrat, this faction did not mean a government under social democratic leadership. The joy of the electoral reform and electoral successes was clouded by the intensifying nationality disputes, even in their own ranks. The Czechs were the first ethnic group to split off from the SDAP in 1912; By the beginning of the war, the other non-German-speaking nationalities had also left the party and founded their own factions.

Adler now gave the material improvement of the working class as the next goal, but this could no longer be implemented. Despite their commitment to the peace objectives of the Second International , the SDAP supported Austria in the early years of the First World War , the war policy of Austria-Hungary against Serbia and Tsarist Russia .

There was initially no notable opposition in the party to this truce policy , as advocated by Karl Renner , who also had hopes for the post of Imperial and Royal Prime Minister. Only a small group around Friedrich Adler , the son of party chairman Viktor Adler, could not accept this course. On October 21, 1916, a month before the death of Franz Joseph I, Friedrich Adler shot and killed Count Karl Stürgkh , the kk Prime Minister who had ruled without a parliament since March 1914 due to the nationalities' policy of obstruction. (The parliament was only re-established by the new emperor, Karl I., Convened in 1917.) The party distanced itself from this act and only distanced itself from the state leadership at the 1917 party congress, not without helping the administration to contain the hunger strikes in the winter of 1917/18. In 1918, under the influence of the Russian October Revolution and the foreseeable collapse of the monarchy, the party granted Otto Bauer , a pronounced Marxist, the post of deputy party chairman and chief ideologist.

Karl Renner and Victor Adler , as the unifying representatives of the party, offered the peoples of Old Austria to remain in the existing state association until the end in order to be able to better realize the common social democratic future goals. In addition, there were still considerations in October 1918 that Karl Renner kk would become Prime Minister.

1892–1909 emergence and assertion of a social democratic women's movement

Although the Hainfeld program of 1889 condemned discrimination based on gender, not a single woman took part in the Hainfeld party congress; the delegate Anna Altmann from Pöltzental was rejected in favor of a male candidate. In the following year, therefore, a separate "workers' education association" was founded in Vienna, supposedly apolitical, in order to circumvent the association's legislation, which banned political association activities by women. Repressive laws and reservations by social democratic men were two hurdles that the social democratic women's movement fought against. Nevertheless, it grew rapidly, also with the help of the "Arbeiterinnen-Zeitung" published from 1892 under the editor Adelheid Popp. After a boycott of the SDAP party congresses in 1896 and 1897, its own Reichsfrauenkonferenz in 1898 and the establishment of its own women's unions from 1902, the social democratic women's movement was able to fight for its place in the party.In 1907 a Reich-wide (= cisleithan ) social democratic women's organization was founded and the Reichenberg party congress in 1909 integrated into the SDAP as equivalent.

1918–1920: Social democracy in government

Karl Renner, 1905, as a kk parliamentarian; In 1918 he was elected State Chancellor of German Austria

When the non-German-speaking nationalities left the monarchy shortly before the end of the war, the German-Austrian Social Democrats were the first to come before the people with a clear program and strive for a parliamentary republic . The provisional national assembly , consisting of the German Reichsrat members of Old Austria elected in 1911, elected Karl Renner as Chancellor of German Austria in October 1918, chaired by Karl Seitz as the country was initially called; the form of government remained open. After the other parties had also decided to join the German-speaking parts of the Danube Monarchy to the now republican German Empire, therefore to strive for the republic, and Emperor Karl I to "renounce any share in state affairs"could be moved, the new state was declared a republic on November 12, 1918. In contrast to Victor Adler's previous equalizing and unifying kuk party line, the new party stance shaped by Otto Bauer and Karl Renner was now strictly republican, anti-Habsburg and revolutionary. With the associated policy against the Church and old Austria, however, the Social Democrats lost parts of their petty-bourgeois electorate and thus increasingly their previous majorities.

Like the other parties represented in the National Council, Austria's SDAP also advocated annexation to Germany after the Treaty of Saint-Germain , which had banned Austria from using the word “German” in its name. The big state expected more strength for the socialist revolution . The wish to join was canceled at the party congress in 1933, after the Nazis came to power in the German Reich.

From 1918 to 1920 the Social Democrats - as the party with the strongest vote in the 1919 election of the constituent national assembly - formed a grand coalition with the Christian Socials. At that time, in addition to the constitution, significant social improvements were passed ( eight-hour day , establishment of the Chamber of Labor as a legal representative of interests, works council law, etc.). Karl Seitz (party chairman), Otto Bauer (deputy party chairman) and Karl Renner as State Chancellor managed to implement radical social reforms.

Otto Bauer's attempt, in the course of his Austro-Marxism with integral socialism, a reunification of the reformist Second International with the Communist III. Reaching international , however, failed. The Austrian Social Democracy, which wanted to have such a calming effect on the rival left ideologies, was jokingly referred to as the Two and a Half International .

Likewise, the connection to the German Reich sought by the SDAP could not be achieved. A related union with what would later become the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) , an excellently organized party, would have been extremely attractive from an Austrian perspective. While Germany was heavily industrialized and thus had a large number of working people, Austria was still largely agrarian at that time. Since the peasants traditionally chose Christian social, the political basis for social democracy in the Austrian population was correspondingly lower.

1920–1934: From opposition to civil war

After the Christian Socials had won the National Council elections in 1920, Otto Bauer led the party into the opposition in federal politics. It remained there until it was banned in 1934. Although it was once again the party with the largest number of votes and seats in the National Council election in 1930 , the last democratic election in the interwar period, it formed the Christian Social Party together with the Greater German People's Party and the Landbundcontinue the government. An offer made by the Christian Socials in 1932 to form a grand coalition was rejected; a decision that was recognized as wrong decades later. From the perspective of the Social Democrats of the Second Republic, Otto Bauer's less flexible policy had to be generally classified as not worth emulating.

Especially in Vienna, where it ruled with a two-thirds majority under the mayors Jakob Reumann and Karl Seitz , and to a lesser extent in the industrial regions of Styria and Upper Austria, social democracy developed an internationally presentable political counter-model to the conservative federal government. The “ Red Vienna ” became internationally known primarily for its social housing . The cultural openness of the social democracy of the time, which attracted many intellectuals, is also remarkable. (Something similar was achieved on a smaller scale in the industrial regions of Styria.)

In response to the organization of fascist home guards, the “ Republican Protection Association ” was founded as a paramilitary organization of the SDAP in 1923/1924 . The Linz program of 1926, largely influenced by Otto Bauer, widened the gap between “red” and “black”: the “dictatorship of the proletariat” - which, however, was to be achieved in a democratic way (“democracy the way, socialism the goal”) - was often quoted by political opponents to scare the "Reds" or the "Bolsheviks".

In 1927 a Schutzbund march had been shot at in Schattendorf , Burgenland; an invalid and a child were killed. The acquittal of the riflemen ( Schattendorfer judgment ) led to a demonstration in front of the Palace of Justice on July 15, 1927, after an extremely critical article in the “ Arbeiter-Zeitung ” , which, despite attempts by leading Social Democrats to appease, resulted in violence by radical elements. The Palace of Justice was set on fire . The police shot and killed dozens of demonstrators and lost four men. The extremely brutal police operation was also carried out by the non-social democrat Karl Krausheavily criticized; he publicly called for the resignation of Police President Johann Schober . The government under Prelate Ignaz Seipel defended the police operation and described the event as the " July Revolution "; it was a shock to the whole country.

Even the social democrats had no recipe for the global economic crisis that began in 1929. This led to the fact that radical ideologies (National Socialism, Communism), which until then had only a few supporters, were able to gain a foothold in the working class from the beginning of the 1930s.

After March 4, 1933, the Christian Social Dollfuss government used what it called parliament to shut itself off to continue to rule authoritatively with emergency decrees. Political rights were gradually restricted, including the traditional May march of the Social Democrats on the Ringstrasse on May 1, 1933. The Social Democrats reacted paralyzed: There was no clear strategy for countering Dollfuss' anti-democratic tendencies.

When Dollfuss wanted to disarm the now banned paramilitary Schutzbund in Upper Austria, an armed conflict broke out in Linz on February 12, 1934, which led to the February uprising of parts of the SDAP. On the same day, Mayor Karl Seitz in Vienna was removed from the town hall by the police and the Social Democratic Party banned. The uprising was put down by the gendarmerie, police, armed forces and home guards until February 14th.

By far not all of the Austrian Social Democrats took part in the February battles; she wasn't prepared for it. The uprising did not come from the party headquarters either, it was taken by surprise. The armed clashes between the Republican Schutzbund on the one hand and the police and the armed forces on the other hand only took place occasionally. None of this was seen in other parts of the city or the country. Therefore fighting the “February Uprising” was not a big problem for the government.

Election results 1919–1930

Results (1919–1930)

Well-known members of the SDAP

Otto Bauer, as an Austromarxist and chief ideologist of the party, labeled as a Bolshevik by opponents

1934–1945: Social democracy in illegality

1934–1938: Party work in the "corporate state"

After the defeat of the "insurgents" (government vocabulary) or the "fighters for democracy" (social democratic reading which was shared by many observers; see the novel The Lost City by the American John Gunther), the corporate state was established. Today's conservatives admit that he was a dictatorship, the Social Democrats speak of Austrofascism . This term was already used by Federal President Wilhelm Miklas at that time - albeit not publicly .

Otto Bauer and the chief of the Schutzbund, Julius Deutsch, were able to flee and set up the Austrian Social Democrats' office in Brno . From there they supported the Revolutionary Socialists (RS), secretly founded as the successor to the banned SDAP and led by Joseph Buttinger from 1935 to 1938 . At the end of March 1938, the RS management team, who had emigrated from Austria, merged with Otto Bauer's foreign office to represent the Austrian Socialists abroad (AVOES), whose functionaries first worked in Paris and then in New York and London. It was dissolved in 1942 and (informally) continued as the “ Austrian Labor Committee ” (ALC).

1938–1945: Social Democrats in the "Third Reich"

Prominent Social Democrats remaining in Austria such as Karl Renner , the former party chairman Karl Seitz and Adolf Schärf behaved inconspicuously for their own protection. Immediately after the “ Anschluss ” in March 1938, a declaration by Renner was published in the Wiener Tagblatt in which he joyfully described the great historical act of the reunification of the German nationgreeted. As he wrote after the war, he, who on the other hand had advocated an alliance as early as 1918, wrote this text after consultations with party friends, because a contrary attitude would have endangered underground work and would have required unnecessary sacrifices.

As a result of the instructions of the Central Committee of Revolutionary Socialists in March 1938 to suspend all illegal activities for three months as a precaution, the arrest of many socialists after the “Anschluss” and the forced flight of many Jewish functionaries, the social democratic movement experienced an organizational decline. The non-observance of ordered conspiratorial caution and the infiltration of the Gestapo-V-People brought about the investigation, arrest and condemnation of many social democratic activists. The rigorous persecution measures and the severance of ties to groups in exile soon led to the disintegration of the increasingly isolated resistance groups. Instead of permanent resistance organizations, loosely social democratic circles of friends were formed, who also came into contact with representatives of politically different resistance movements. This enabled Karl Seitz and Adolf Scharf , around Kaplan contact with the resistance group Henry Maier record.

When Schärf was contacted by German Social Democrats in 1943 about cooperation “after Hitler”, he spontaneously replied, according to Friedrich Heer, “The Anschluss is dead. The Austrians' love for Germany has been driven out”. Karl Seitz was arrested by the Nazi authorities after the attack on Hitler on July 20, 1944 .

1945–1991: Socialist Party of Austria

Results of National Council elections (1945-2019)

1945–1966: In coalition with the People's Party

Forward building in Vienna, 1910–1934 party headquarters, today site of party history research
SPÖ headquarters (since June 7, 1945) at Löwelstrasse 18 in the 1st district of Vienna

While the fighting in the greater Vienna area was still going on ( Vienna Operation 1945 ) and the Red Army had only just liberated Vienna from Nazi rule, in mid-April 1945, three weeks before the end of the Second World War in Europe and the liberation of all of Austria, the Socialist Party of Austria (Social Democrats and Revolutionary Socialists) (SPÖ) founded. Karl Seitz, party chairman until February 12, 1934 and therefore also formally chairman in 1945, was only able to return to Vienna from occupied Germany on June 23, 1945.

On April 12, 1945, the first meeting of leading social democrats took place in the badly damaged Vienna City Hall. (It was only much later that contact could be made with those Social Democrats who had reestablished the party's regional organizations in the more distant federal states.) On April 14, a provisional party executive was appointed in the Red Salon of the town hall. Adolf Schärf became provisional chairman ; only at the party congress on December 14-15, 1945 was he elected party chairman; Seitz now took over the party's honorary chairmanship.

Karl Renner , who had lived in a house in Gloggnitz (70 km south of Vienna) since 1938 , “started negotiations with the command of the advancing Soviet army in April 1945, which led to the formation of a government accepted by the occupying power”. To this end, Renner wrote a personal letter to Stalin , who could remember the “old fox” (as he is supposed to have called him) as a politician before the Nazi era.

On April 27, 1945 - the Second World War was not yet over - "the executive committee of the Christian Social People's Party or now Austrian People's Party ", the " Communist Party of Austria " and the "Executive Committee of the Austrian Social Democracy, now the Socialist Party of Austria (Social Democrats and Revolutionary Socialists) ”on the declaration of independence (State Law Gazette No. 1/1945), with which“ the democratic republic of Austria… was restored ”and the“ Anschluss imposed on the Austrian people in 1938 ”was declared“ null and void ”. Karl Renner , the state chancellor of the jointly appointed by the three parties, signed for the SPÖ"Provisional state government" was, and party chairman Adolf Schärf . The fate of the Jewish Austrians and the participation of Austrians in the Nazi crimes were not mentioned in the declaration.

The provisional government “by the grace of the Red Army” met with enormous distrust from the occupying powers Great Britain, France and the USA. Renner was thought to be a puppet of Stalin. The provisional governors of the western federal states, however, under the leadership of the later Foreign Minister Karl Gruber, were ready very early to work with Renner in the interests of an undivided Austria and in this respect also did valuable persuasion work with the Allies, without which the general Austrian elections in 1945 would not have been possible.

The question of the extent to which the socialists should work together with the communists was not without controversy in the SPÖ in the summer of 1945, as Popular Front governments had come about in neighboring countries . Schärf wrote about this in 1950: Many of those who came together in the Socialist Party or who came back together had a socialist unity party in mind. The communists expected to be about as strong as the SPÖ in the first elections and therefore suggested close cooperation. On the other hand, they denied that the SPÖ had the right to demand the return of the SDAP property that had been confiscated by Dollfuss in 1934, sincea large number of former Social Democratic members now belong to the ranks of the Communist Party and they too are entitled to it. In contact committees between the two parties demanded by the communists, the SPÖ representatives only dealt with unimportant topics and demanded that important questions be discussed exclusively in the Provisional State Government.

After the first National Council elections of the Second Republic on November 25, 1945 , which gave the ÖVP an absolute majority and the KPÖ very disappointing results, the SPÖ member Karl Renner became the first Federal President on December 20, 1945 by the Federal Assembly (National Council and Federal Council) elected to the Second Republic . The SPÖ took a moderate, pragmatic course and participated in the concentration government Figl I, which was in office until the resignation of the only communist minister Karl Altmann in 1947, and subsequently in several “grand coalitions” among ÖVP federal chancellors. You could among other things the nationalization of many enterprises (especially those who had previously been " German property ") and, moreover, bring about an improvement in the situation of the workers. The nationalization gave rise to the so-called "Kingdom of Waldbrunner ", the sphere of influence of the SPÖ Minister for Transport and nationalized companies.

Erwin Scharf , one of the SPÖ central secretaries, advocated continued cooperation with the communists even after the 1945 election result, which was very modest for the KPÖ; he was expelled from the SPÖ in 1948 and then founded the short-lived small party of the Left Socialists .

For reasons of election tactics, the SPÖ played a decisive role in founding the VdU (predecessor organization of the FPÖ ). It was hoped that the VdU's candidacy would weaken the ÖVP . In this function, the SPÖ Interior Minister Helmer was also the head of the electoral and association authorities and was therefore responsible for the approval of new parties and actively supported the establishment of the VdU. In the National Council election in 1949 , the first time the former National Socialists had a lower exposurewere again eligible to vote, the SPÖ had hundreds of thousands of leaflets printed with a “question of conscience to every former National Socialist”, with which it was intensively advertised for former National Socialists (“Anyone who has forgotten that we were national and socialist will go to the ÖVP today”). In this election, the ÖVP stirred up voters' fear of the “red cat” (“Don't buy a cat in a poke”).

In 1950, communists organized the “October strikes” against the fourth wage and price agreement agreed between the government and the social partners . Their goal was to set up a government friendly to communists. The occupying forces of the Soviet Union only intervened passively: They prevented the police from taking immediate action against systematic traffic obstructions and other attacks, but they themselves did not actively take sides with the strikers. The socialist trade unionist Franz Olah then successfully mobilized the construction workers' union against the communists and achieved an end to the strikes. In political polemics, the non-violent intervention of the construction workers was welcomed as a defense against a communist coup attempt.

In 1955 the SPÖ and the ÖVP achieved the State Treaty and the withdrawal of the occupation troops; In memories, however, the State Treaty is mainly linked to the then ÖVP Foreign Minister Leopold Figl . The vice-chancellor and party chairman was Adolf Schärf from 1945 to 1957 and Bruno Pittermann from 1957 to 1966/1967 (advertising slogan “Pittermann for everyone, everyone for Pittermann”). After Karl Renner, the SPÖ provided three other social democratic federal presidents: Theodor Körner , 1951–1957, Adolf Schärf, 1957–1965, and Franz Jonas , 1965–1974.

In 1964, the Olah affair rocked the party. In 1959 and 1960, the top socialist politician Franz Olah (probably not without the knowledge of some functionaries) pursued media policy outside of the party committees by supporting the non-partisan daily newspapers “ Kronen Zeitung ” and “ Express ” in Vienna with union funds . In 1964 a larger payment to the FPÖ became known, with which Olah probably wanted to build a possible alternative coalition partner. At the same time, Olah, appointed Minister of the Interior in 1963, was in possession of the secret files of the state police.

Despite violent demonstrations of sympathy in front of the party headquarters, Olah, whose awareness of power had become uncanny to other top SPÖ functionaries, was expelled from the SPÖ in 1964, especially with the help of Justice Minister Christian Broda . Olah was later convicted of embezzling union funds; the SPÖ only reconciled with him after 2000.

1966–1970: SPÖ in opposition

From 1966 to 1970 the SPÖ was in opposition. For the media age, party chairman Pittermann did not seem attractive enough to many social democrats to free the party from its unfamiliar role as opposition. After intensive discussions, Bruno Kreisky , an undisputed foreign politician, but without a solid power base within the party, was elected as the new party leader against the will of leading Viennese social democrats. In 1970 he ran for the National Council election in Lower Austria. Kreisky was supposed to bring together the radicals and moderates of the split party in the style of an Austro-Hungarian Social Democrat.

Kreisky soon proved to be a media star who, with his slow, anecdotal speech, was clearly superior to the serious but comparatively colorless Salzburg ÖVP Federal Chancellor Josef Klaus as an opposition leader. When comparing the two top politicians, Kreisky's cosmopolitanism (acquired as a diplomat and foreign minister) also had a positive impact. The SPÖ campaigned for a more modern Austria , including 1000 experts , in the election campaign: Take the future in your hand, we invite you , was sung on an advertising record. The ÖVP referred with the slogan A real Austrian for Klaus indirectly on Kreisky's Jewish roots and his time of emigration.

1970–1986: The Kreisky era and its afterlife

Kreisky I cabinet
Bruno Kreisky on a visit to the USA in February 1983
Emblem from 1978 to the early 1980s
May badge from 1984

In 1970, Bruno Kreisky - the SPÖ had achieved a relative majority (47.6%) - formed a minority government with the support of the FPÖ under its chairman Friedrich Peter . (This first Kreisky government included, very soon publicly criticized, five former National Socialists; Agriculture Minister Hans Öllinger from Carinthia, once an SS man, has to resign.) With the slogan “Let Kreisky and his team work!”, The SPÖ finally won New election in 1971 received an absolute majority in votes and mandates and again formed a single SPÖ government . The ÖVP, disoriented in its new role in the opposition, had Kreisky popularity with the party chairman, who was still quite unknown until thenToo little to oppose Karl Schleinzer at the top.

In the National Council elections in 1975 and 1979 , Kreisky also won an absolute majority for the SPÖ. Both times, after Schleinzer's death in July 1975, the new ÖVP chancellor candidate Josef Taus clearly lost out. In 1979 the SPÖ achieved the clearest absolute majority since 1945 with an election result of 51% and 95 of 183 seats in the National Council.

The reign of the SPÖ with Bruno Kreisky at the helm (1970–1983) was marked by far-reaching social and socio-political reforms. During this time, for example, the mother-child pass, birth assistance and parental leave allowance were introduced. Despite massive opposition from conservative political and social forces, Kreisky's government also implemented the deadline solution with regard to the termination of pregnancies. Austrian criminal law was also massively reformed under Justice Minister Christian Broda . In the education system, the most notable reforms were the democratization of universities and the abolition of tuition fees. In terms of foreign policy, Kreisky showed particularly in the Middle EastInitiative, which brought Austria a hitherto hardly known international reputation .

In terms of economic policy , Kreisky's chancellorship was characterized above all by the low unemployment rate , which in the 1970s came close to full employment for the most part . In general, the type of economic policy in the Kreisky era (especially after 1974) can be described as Austrokeynesianism , a term coined by the economic researcher Hans Seidl. The budget policy of the Kreisky government was characterized, among other things, by the hard currency rate of Finance Minister Hannes Androsch , who bet on a stable schilling .

An open secret of Kreisky's successful run right through the 1970s was, according to general opinion, the reconciliation of the Austrian social democracy with the Roman Catholic Church, the good relationship between SPÖ chairman Kreisky and Cardinal Franz König at the time should be mentioned in this regard. In 1974, the candidate nominated by the SPÖ, Foreign Minister Rudolf Kirchschläger , a practicing Catholic, won the election for Federal President . In 1980, it became extremely popular among the population Kirchschläger was supported by both the SPÖ and the leading opposition party, the ÖVP, in his renewed candidacy, which brought him an unprecedented record result in an Austrian federal presidential election with almost 80%.

For the SPÖ, the controversy between Kreisky and Finance Minister Hannes Androsch , who was described by the media as one of the “Crown Prince” of the “Sun King” and when he took office in 1970 at the age of 32, was the “youngest finance minister of all time”. Androsch would like to have Kreisky as Federal President in 1974proposed to take over the Chancellery himself; “The old man”, however, refused to change to the largely powerless position of head of state. In return, Kreisky claimed not to have known that, in addition to his ministerial work, Androsch was still formally the owner of a tax consultancy firm that included public clients among its clients. Kreisky described this as incompatible with Androsch's ministerial office. In 1981 Androsch had to change to the position of general director of a nationalized bank. Androsch, just as media-aware as the Chancellor, kept a considerable circle of friends in the party who were now critical of the Chancellor. Androsch was later convicted of tax evasion.

During the time of sole government, the SPÖ changed from a workers' party to a left-wing people's party , in whose "atmosphere" soldiers of fortune triggered various affairs, including the AKH scandal that was uncovered in 1980 about the construction of Austria's largest hospital.

When there was no absolute majority for the SPÖ in 1983, Kreisky arranged a coalition with the FPÖ , headed by Fred Sinowatz as Federal Chancellor.

Since 1991: Social Democratic Party of Austria

1986–1999: Grand coalitions under SPÖ leadership

Franz Vranitzky, SPÖ Federal Chancellor 1986–1997

After Sinowatz resigned as Federal Chancellor in the summer of 1986, his successor Franz Vranitzky dissolved the coalition with the FPÖ after Jörg Haider was elected FPÖ chairman in September 1986. Vranitzky then formed a grand coalition with the ÖVP , which existed from 1997 under his successor Viktor Klima until 1999 (see federal governments Vranitzky II to Vranitzky V ). For the SPÖ (as well as for the People's Party), however, these years were overshadowed by the meteoric rise of the FPÖ under Jörg Haider, which in 2000 also led to the SPÖ's provisional end of government responsibility. The top SPÖ politicians Leopold Gratz andKarl Blecha had to resign in 1989 because of his involvement in the Lucona affair ( Udo Proksch 's fatal insurance fraud ) and the Noricum scandal (illegal arms export by a state company).

Logo with European flag

Under Vranitzky's chairmanship, the party was renamed the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) at the federal party conference in Linz in 1991 . This corresponded to Western European customs; the historical compromise of 1945 was no longer appropriate for a long time.

In 1994 Austria decided in the course of a constitutionally required referendum to join the European Union (EU), which was considered a great success for the coalition under Chancellor and SPÖ leader Vranitzky. Vranitzky had succeeded in making the advantages of the EU clear to the SPÖ , which had long been critical of the EEC . The danger to Austrian neutrality seen by SPÖ functionaries was covered up with the slogan “We are going into the EU as a neutral state”. The fact that as an EU member one cannot be neutral towards other EU members remained unsaid.

Viktor Klima, SPÖ Federal Chancellor 1997–2000

1997 Vranitzky handed over the official business due to health problems to his finance minister , the new head of government Viktor Klima ; he undertook an extensive government reshuffle. For the SPÖ, with the exception of the elections to the EU Parliament and the Salzburg state elections (both in 1999), Klimas's time as chancellor was almost permanently characterized by election defeats and poor poll results.

2000–2006: In the federal government in opposition - successful in state politics

Logo of the SPÖ with the Austrian flag, which can be replaced by the flag of a federal state

In the spring of 2000, the SPÖ had to go into opposition due to the coalition agreement between the ÖVP and the FPÖ, although it remained the party with the largest number of votes and seats in the 1999 National Council election with 33.2% (-4.9%) and 65 seats in the National Council . Klima's successor in the Federal Chancellery was ÖVP chairman Wolfgang Schüssel , who would go down in history as the party leader who had made it to the position of head of government for the first time from third place in the previous NR election. Klima withdrew from politics; the SPÖ elected Alfred Gusenbauer as the new party chairman, who also had to take on the role of opposition leader.

In the National Council election on November 24, 2002, the SPÖ was overtaken by the ÖVP , despite a 3.3% increase in votes , which recorded landslide-like gains and improved from its all-time low in 1999 (26.9%) to 42.3% . After both the exploratory talks between the ÖVP and the SPÖ and the specific coalition negotiations between the ÖVP and the Greens had failed, the ÖVP and the FPÖ continued their cooperation.

In the first mood test after the National Council election in January 2003, the SPÖ suffered a severe loss of votes and mandates in Austria's second largest city, Graz, in the course of the local council elections and fell well behind with 25.7% (−5.2%) in one of its former strongholds ÖVP, which was boosted by the success of the National Council election, reached 36.1% (+13.1%). For the first time since 1985, the SPÖ no longer provided the mayor of the Styrian capital.

In Lower Austria, SP state leader and top candidate Heidemaria Onodi was in the state election in March 2003 against the popular ÖVP governor Erwin Pröll , who was favored by federal policy, and was able to win despite an increase in votes (from 30.4% to 33.6%) not prevent the absolute majority of the People's Party.

In the state elections in Upper Austria , the SPÖ, with Erich Haider at the top, gained 11.3% in September 2003 (from 27.0% to 38.3%) and was therefore represented in the state government with four out of nine regional councilors. The ÖVP, which reached 43.4% (+ 0.7%) in this election, formed a coalition with the Greens and therefore continues to provide the governor. In the state election in Tyrol, held at the same time as Upper Austria, the SPÖ under top candidate and state party leader Hannes Gschwentner was able to increase from 21.8% to 25.9%, but remained, as usual, far behind the ÖVP (49.9%), which is the absolute Recaptured majority in mandate.

In Salzburg , the SPÖ gained 13.1% in the state elections in March 2004 and reached 45.4%. So that they overtook the ÖVP , which came to 37.9%, and stood up to the state election in Salzburg in 2013 with Gabi Burgstaller in Salzburg for the first time Landeshauptfrau (this term is preferred by Burgstaller).

Parallel to Salzburg, the state elections in Carinthia also took place on March 7, 2004, which gave the SPÖ under top candidate and state party chairman Peter Ambrozy clearly recognizable gains in votes and mandates. However, the Carinthian Social Democrats did not succeed in ousting Governor Jörg Haider's FPÖ from first place. As a result, there was a partly heavily criticized within the SPÖ coalition between the FPÖ and SPÖ (from April 2005 BZÖ-SPÖ coalition ), which, however, in February 2006 by Ambrozys successor at the Carinthian SP-tip, Gabriele Schaunig-Kandut again ended.

In April 2004, Heinz Fischer won the Federal President's election ; for the first time since 1980 a candidate supported by the SPÖ was successful again, with a share of the vote of 52.4%. His rival candidate, Benita Ferrero-Waldner (ÖVP), accounted for 47.6%. Fischer's victory was considered very significant for the SPÖ, as it was the first really countable national political election victory against the ÖVP since Gusenbauer was elected federal party chairman.

In the elections to the European Parliament in June 2004, the SPÖ with top candidate Hannes Swoboda was able to narrowly defend first place with 33.3% thanks to slight gains, while the ÖVP landed in second place after an equally small increase in votes with 32.7%. This national political victory against the Chancellor party ÖVP was celebrated by the SPÖ, but the extremely low turnout of just over 40% put the result into perspective .

In autumn 2004 the SPÖ with top candidate Elke Sader was able to gain from 13.0% to 16.9% in the state elections in Vorarlberg, but remained, as usual, far behind the ÖVP, which achieved a clear absolute majority.

In the state elections in Burgenland, Styria and Vienna, the SPÖ achieved steady gains in October 2005: In Burgenland, with Governor Hans Niessl at the top , it regained the absolute majority (approx. 52%). In Styria, the SPÖ overtook the ÖVP with 41.7% (+ 9.4%), which reached 38.7% (-8.6%), and since October 25, 2005 has provided the governor, Franz Voves, for the first time since 1945 .

In Vienna, on the other hand, the SPÖ under Michael Häupl expanded the absolute majority of seats from 52 to 55 out of 100 seats, even though it only achieved a relative majority (48.9%) based on the number of votes.

Alfred Gusenbauer, SPÖ chairman 2000–2008, Federal Chancellor 2007–2008

In 2005, after more than three years of research, the report on clearing up the so-called “brown spots” in the party was completed. It deals with SPÖ members and SPÖ functionaries who were members of the NSDAP (before the Anschluss , illegal in Austria) and as such were involved in the crimes of the NS regime. As an example, the Nazi doctor and presumed child murderer in the Vienna euthanasia facility "Am Spiegelgrund", Heinrich Gross , is named, who was honored in the SPÖ. Gross received several awards from the Republic and was protected from prosecution for a long time by the Austrian judiciary, thanks to SPÖ Justice Minister Christian Broda (see also literature, links).

In 2006, the BAWAG scandal caused considerable damage to the SPÖ's image . Nevertheless, regardless of the results of all serious opinion research institutes in the National Council election in October 2006, with a share of 35.3% (−2.2%) and 68 seats (−1), it was again the nationwide party with the highest number of votes and the strongest parliamentary group ahead of the People's Party with 34 , 3% (−8.0%) and 66 seats (−13).

2007–2008: Gusenbauer cabinet - back in the federal government

The coalition negotiations with the ÖVP led to the inauguration of the Federal Government Gusenbauer on January 11, 2007 , a grand coalition of SPÖ and ÖVP under Federal Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer . Parts of the party declared their dissatisfaction with the coalition pact because key ministries (finance, interior, exterior) remained with the ÖVP and important SPÖ election campaign demands (see above) did not appear to be feasible in this coalition.

In the first noteworthy mood test for the government led by SP chief Alfred Gusenbauer after the National Council election in 2006, the SPÖ recorded a significant loss of votes and mandates in the Graz municipal council election on January 20, 2008 and remained in second place behind the ÖVP. The SPÖ also suffered losses in the state elections in Lower Austria in 2008 and the state elections in Tyrol in 2008 .

On June 16, 2008, Werner Faymann was appointed executive federal party chairman at a meeting of the executive committee. On August 8, 2008, he replaced Gusenbauer as federal party chairman.

2008–2016: Faymann's cabinet

Werner Faymann, party chairman and Federal Chancellor from 2008 to 2016
The SPÖ government team (2008)

On July 7th, 2008 the ÖVP terminated the red-black coalition. According to Vice Chancellor Wilhelm Molterer, the trigger was the announcement published by Gusenbauer and Faymann at the end of June in the form of a letter to “ Kronen Zeitung ” publisher Hans Dichand that “future changes to the treaty [note: the EU treaties]that affect Austrian interests should be decided by a referendum in Austria ”. Federal Chancellor Gusenbauer has meanwhile declared that he will no longer run as a top candidate in a new election. The letter to Dichand was also criticized by those close to the SPÖ as an unworthy ingratiation to the controversial old “newspaper tsar”, whom Faymann, who is associated with the newspaper as a Viennese city councilor and transport minister through extensive advertisements, is rumored to have dubbed “Uncle Hans”.

In September 2008 the 24th National Council election took place in Austria . The SPÖ was able to defend first place with 29.3% of the votes (−6%), but it posted the weakest result since it was re-established in 1945.

On November 23, 2008, the party leaders of the SPÖ and ÖVP, Werner Faymann and Josef Pröll , declared that they had agreed on a new coalition with Faymann as Federal Chancellor ( Federal Government Faymann I ). In connection with this, Faymann was said to have a vague "cuddling course" that left open what the SPÖ really stood for politically.

The first few months of the new government were difficult due to numerous electoral defeats. It was only after a few months that the SPÖ was able to gain ground on the issue of distributive justice and implemented certain points in the 2011 budget, such as wealth-related taxes.

After the SPÖ had to accept (sometimes massive) losses in all elections since the National Council elections in 2008, it managed to gain votes again in the early Carinthian state elections in March 2013. With an increase of 8.3%, it came to 37.1% and became the strongest party in Carinthia for the first time since the 1999 state elections. Thus, after 24 years, she was able to provide the provincial governor in Carinthia with Peter Kaiser . For the first time in Austria, Kaiser formed a so-called Kenya coalition together with the ÖVP and the Greens . For the first time in the history of the SPÖ, the situation arose in which nine provincial governors could provide a majority of five (Burgenland, Carinthia, Salzburg, Styria and Vienna) at short notice.

As a result of the Salzburg speculation scandal , the SPÖ suffered heavy losses in the state elections in Salzburg in 2013 and lost the governor's chair to the ÖVP . In the 2013 National Council election , the SPÖ again lost votes and mandates, but was able to maintain first place ahead of the ÖVP. Federal Chancellor Werner Faymann continued the coalition with the ÖVP. There were heavy defeats in the state elections in Burgenland 2015 and the state elections in Styria in 2015 . The SPÖ governor of Burgenland, Hans Niessl , formed a cooperation with the FPÖ despite a party conference resolutionruled out a red-blue coalition at all levels. In Styria, the resigning SPÖ governor Franz Voves agreed with Hermann Schützenhöfer's ÖVP on a continuation of the red-black cooperation, but the governor was to provide the ÖVP for the entire legislative period, although the SPÖ had again become the strongest party. The two state elections and the following coalition negotiations plunged the Federal SPÖ into a serious crisis.

2016–2017: Kern cabinet

SPÖ government members of the federal government Kern (2016)
Group photo of the national and federal councilors of the SPÖ and the members of the government (2016)

As a result of the poor result of the SPÖ candidate Rudolf Hundstorfer in the first round of the federal presidential election on April 24, 2016 , there were intensive discussions in the party about Faymann as chancellor and party leader. On May 9, 2016, he announced that he would resign both from the office of Federal Chancellor and chairman of the SPÖ with immediate effect. As Chancellor of the Federal Government's core was Christian Kern appointed who from June 25, 2016 was also party chairman after this office on an interim basis by the Mayor of Vienna Michael Häupl had been exercised.

2017: Another step into the opposition

After the resignation of the Vice Chancellor and ÖVP chairman Reinhold Mitterlehner , the grand coalition under Chancellor Christian Kern broke up and the National Council decided to dissolve itself. The election campaign that followed was shaped , among other things, by the Silberstein affair surrounding the SPÖ adviser Tal Silberstein . In the National Council election on October 15, 2017 , the SPÖ was able to maintain its result from 2013, but was overtaken by the People's Party under its new chairman Sebastian Kurz . This began coalition negotiations with the FPÖ, which on December 18, 2017 in the appointment and inauguration of the Federal Government Kurz Iflowed. After Christian Kern announced that he would run as the top candidate of the SPÖ in the European elections in May 2019 and before that he would step down from the party chairmanship in November 2018, Rendi-Wagner was designated as his preferred candidate on September 22, 2018 by the SPÖ party presidency as his successor and took over as managing director Party presidency. At the 44th ordinary federal party conference in Wels on November 24, 2018, Rendi-Wagner was elected party leader of the SPÖ with 97.81 percent of the delegate's votes as the first woman in the history of the party founded in 1888 . The new SPÖ leader named her goal as “becoming the first female Federal Chancellor of this republic”. On December 18, 2017, the turquoise-blue Federal Government Brief I appointed and sworn in by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen . On May 18, 2019, Kurz announced early elections because of the " Ibiza affair " surrounding FPÖ Vice Chancellor Strache. Since Interior Minister Herbert Kickl was dismissed from the government at the suggestion of the Federal Chancellor, the FPÖ also withdrew its other ministers from the federal government. The ÖVP-led minority government was overthrown in parliament on May 27, 2019 with the votes of the SPÖ, the FPÖ and the list now, and on June 3 the Federal President sworn in the Bierlein government as a transitional government.

On May 28, 2019, Rendi-Wagner was unanimously confirmed by the party presidium as the top candidate for the National Council election in Austria 2019 . Your party achieved the historically worst result in a National Council election with 21.18 percent (minus 5.7 percentage points). After the severe defeat in the state elections in Styria on November 24, 2019, a personnel debate began in the party, and the high level of debt also became the focus of reporting. In the state elections in Burgenland , Hans Peter Doskozil, a representative of the right wing of the party, won the absolute majority of seats. Pamela Rendi-Wagnerdecided because of constant cross shots from the party, in a member survey from 4.3. - 2.4. to ask the vote of confidence. The party leader won it with 71.4% and a turnout of 41.3%. After a short break for the chairwoman, the Burgenland Governor Hans Peter Doskozil attacked them again at the end of July and questioned whether they would lead the SPÖ in the National Council election in 2024.

Current election results

Wins and losses in the last election (since 2015)
Countries in which the SPÖ is represented in the state parliament (2016)
  • as a member of the provincial government and the provincial governor presents
  • as a member of the state government
  • as a member of a proportional government without a labor agreement
  • as an opposition party
  • The SPÖ provides three governors (in Vienna , Burgenland , and again in Carinthia since March 2013 ) and is represented in the provincial government as a junior partner in Lower Austria and Styria . Until June 2013 she also provided the governor of Salzburg with Gabi Burgstaller . Furthermore , despite a working agreement between the ÖVP and the FPÖ, the SPÖ is represented in the Upper Austrian provincial government through the proportional representation system with a provincial council. At the community level, the SPÖ provides many mayors , including in Vienna,Linz , St. Pölten , Steyr , Klagenfurt , Villach , Wolfsberg , Leoben , Bruck an der Mur , Kapfenberg , Knittelfeld and Judenburg . In addition, it is particularly strongly represented in the trade unions and the chambers of labor as well as in some companies in the form of the Social Democratic Union (FSG) group.

    Last election results at national level and in the federal states

    Federal party leader since 1945

    Bundesregierung Kurz II Bundesregierung Bierlein Bundesregierung Kurz I Bundesregierung Kern Bundesregierung Faymann II Bundesregierung Faymann I Bundesregierung Gusenbauer Bundesregierung Schüssel II Bundesregierung Schüssel I Bundesregierung Klima Bundesregierung Vranitzky V Bundesregierung Vranitzky IV Bundesregierung Vranitzky III Bundesregierung Vranitzky II Bundesregierung Vranitzky I Bundesregierung Sinowatz Bundesregierung Kreisky IV Bundesregierung Kreisky III Bundesregierung Kreisky II Bundesregierung Kreisky I Bundesregierung Klaus II Bundesregierung Klaus I Bundesregierung Gorbach II Bundesregierung Gorbach I Bundesregierung Raab IV Bundesregierung Raab III Bundesregierung Raab II Bundesregierung Raab I Bundesregierung Figl III Bundesregierung Figl II Bundesregierung Figl I Provisorische Staatsregierung Renner 1945 Pamela Rendi-Wagner Christian Kern Werner Faymann Alfred Gusenbauer Viktor Klima Franz Vranitzky Fred Sinowatz Bruno Kreisky Bruno Pittermann Adolf Schärf

    Central secretaries and federal managers since 1945

    Until 1993, the federal managing directors were called central secretaries.

    Central Secretaries

    Federal Managing Director

    Andrea Brunner was Federal Deputy Managing Director from December 2017 to November 2019.

    National organizations

    Apron organizations

    For a long time, Austrian social democracy stood in stark contrast to the bourgeois-conservative camp. Social democrats therefore often did not want to become members of civil associations outside of politics; they founded their own clubs. These are formally independent of the SPÖ, but are often headed by functionaries and mandataries of the SPÖ and are therefore referred to by political observers as preliminary organizations or close to the party. In some of these associations (including BSA, ASKÖ, Kinderfreunde), officials must or had to be SPÖ party members according to the association's statutes. To mention are among others:

    Former SPÖ party newspapers

    Party organs

    The SPÖ parliamentary club publishes online with the web magazine . The Political Academy of the SPÖ, the Dr. Karl Renner Institute , publishes the magazine Die Zukunft eleven times a year .


    The number of members of the SPÖ peaked at over 720,000 at the end of the 1970s. By 1990 this number had shrunk to around 620,000 people, of which around two thirds had fallen again by 2005. In March 2017, the membership was approximately 180,000 people. With a nationwide uniform annual membership fee of 72 euros, this results in income of around 13 million euros for the SPÖ.

    Prominent members

    See category: SPÖ member .


    The SPÖ's annual report for 2015 was only published by the Court of Auditors at the end of August 2017. The SPÖ had a total income of almost 96 million euros, the expenditure was 107.2 million euros.

    The SPÖ's income consists largely of party funding , which (including funding for the Parliamentary Club and the Dr. Karl Renner Institute ) amounts to EUR 19.2 million at federal level for 2017. In addition, there are subsidies for the SPÖ in the federal states of EUR 38.5 million, a total of EUR 57.7 million.

    According to estimates, the SPÖ is in debt with EUR 20 million after the 2017 National Council election . This corresponds to a quadrupling of the debt level as of 2011 from EUR 5 million at the time. The cause of the high debt is the after-effects of the financial disaster of the Arbeiter-Zeitung in the 1980s, the chronic imbalance between fixed costs and income of the party and the constant decline in membership seen. The SPÖ-owned Gartenhotel Altmannsdorf was sold to UM Bau AG for EUR 14 million to repay debt, as was the Gloriette operating company in Schönbrunn and another three-star hotel. The goal is to have paid off all debts by 2021.

    The party has also been heavily indebted several times in the past. After the National Council election in 1999 , the SPÖ had debts of EUR 25 million, at that time countermeasures were taken by selling the federal party's shares in the Echo advertising agency, increasing membership fees and transferring tasks to the regional organizations. After the restructuring was completed in 2006, the financial situation was made more difficult by the emergency sale of Bawag in the wake of a financial scandal , especially since the bank alone from the 1970s to 1989 gave the equivalent of EUR 95 million to the SPÖ, trade union and consumptionhad fed through excessive payments for real estate and companies. On the other hand, the assumption that the SPÖ's debt was discharged after 2000 as covert party financing through Bawag was repeatedly expressed.


    Web links

    Commons : Social Democratic Party of Austria  - collection of images, videos and audio files
     Wikinews: SPÖ  - in the news

    Individual evidence

    1. Political parties funded with 200 million this year - more than 30 euros per citizen. In: May 21, 2018, accessed September 20, 2019 .
    2. SPÖ member survey 2020. (PDF; 1.5 MB) In: May 6, 2020, accessed May 6, 2020 .
    3. ^ A b Philipp Aichinger: What still separates the SPÖ and the FPÖ - and unites. In: June 8, 2015, accessed May 26, 2019 .
    4. ^ SPÖ - The basic program . SPÖ, October 1998, III. Political Perspectives, p. 22 ( [PDF; 458 kB ; accessed on August 3, 2018]).
    5. a b election manifesto, page 17 ( Memento from September 20, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 334 kB)
    6. ^ SPÖ - The basic program . SPÖ, October 1998, III. Political Perspectives, p. 24 ( [PDF; 458 kB ; accessed on August 3, 2018]).
    7. ^ SPÖ - The basic program . SPÖ, October 1998, III. Political Perspectives, p. 19 ( [PDF; 458 kB ; accessed on August 28, 2018]).
    8. ^ Election manifesto, page 32 ( Memento from September 20, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 334 kB)
    9. Kern and Doskozil reject a joint EU army. In: November 11, 2016, accessed November 11, 2018 .
    10. ^ SPÖ - The basic program . SPÖ, October 1998, III. Political Perspectives, p. 8 ( [PDF; 458 kB ; accessed on July 20, 2018]).
    11. ^ SPÖ - The basic program . SPÖ, October 1998, III. Political Perspectives, p. 9 ( [PDF; 458 kB ; accessed on July 27, 2018]).
    12. ^ Election manifesto, page 3 ( Memento from September 20, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 334 kB)
    13. ^ Election manifesto, page 10 ( Memento from September 20, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 334 kB)
    14. ^ Election manifesto, page 21 ( Memento from September 20, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 334 kB)
    15. ^ Ralf Hoffrogge: Socialism and the workers' movement in Germany and Austria - from the beginnings to 1914. 2nd edition. Butterfly, Stuttgart 2017, ISBN 978-3-89657-691-0 , pp. 209-211.
    16. ^ Ralf Hoffrogge: Socialism and the workers' movement in Germany and Austria - from the beginnings to 1914. 2nd edition. Butterfly, Stuttgart 2017, ISBN 978-3-89657-691-0 , p. 213.
    17. SDAP: Eisenacher Programm (1869). Transcribed by Einde O'Callaghan. In: October 15, 2003, accessed February 28, 2015 .
    18. Cf. u. a. Lucian O. Meysels : Victor Adler. The biography. Amalthea, Vienna 1997, ISBN 3-85002-403-2 , p. 80 ff.
    19. Lucian O. Meysels: Victor Adler. The biography. Amalthea, Vienna 1997, ISBN 3-85002-403-2 , p. 142 ff.
    20. Cf. u. a. Johannes Sachslehner: 1918 - The Hours of Downfall (2014), p. 81
    21. Cf. Manfried Rauchsteiner “The First World War and the End of the Habsburg Monarchy 1914-1918” (2013), p. 1036.
    22. Ralf Hoffrogge, Socialism and the Workers' Movement in Germany and Austria - From the Beginning to 1914, 2nd edition Stuttgart 2017, pp. 215–219; Women make politics. Austria 1848–1938, Innsbruck-Wien-Bozen 2009, 2nd edition 2010.
    23. See Norbert readers “Skurrile Treffen” (2011), 217ff.
    24. Otto Bauer: The Austrian Revolution . Wiener Volksbuchhandlung, 1923 ( transcription by Einde O'Callaghan for the Marxists' Internet Archive [accessed on May 27, 2020]).
    25. ^ Karl Vocelka: Geschichte Österreichs , Heyne, 3rd edition, paperback edition 09/2002; P. 276
    26. Federal Law Gazette for the Republic of Austria , No. 24 v. February 13, 1934, p. 159, 78. Ordinance: Prohibition of any activity by the Social Democratic Labor Party in Austria ( online at )
    27. ^ Manfred Scheuch: Austria in the 20th century . Christian Brandstätter Verlag, Vienna / Munich 2000. ISBN 3-85498-029-9 , p. 109.
    28. See u. a. Elisabeth Boeckl-Klamper, Thomas Mang, Wolfgang Neugebauer "Gestapo control center Vienna 1938-1945" (2018), 313ff.
    29. ^ Friedrich Heer: The struggle for the Austrian identity . Böhlau, Vienna 1981, ISBN 978-3-205-07155-6 , pp. 441 .
    30. ^ Karl Seitz in the Vienna History Wiki of the City of Vienna
    31. ^ Felix Czeike (Ed.): Historisches Lexikon Wien , Kremayr & Scheriau, Volume 4, Vienna 1995, p. 660
    32. StGBl. No. 1/1945
    33. ^ A b Adolf Schärf: Between Democracy and People's Democracy. Austria's unification and rebuilding in 1945. Verlag der Wiener Volksbuchhandlung, Vienna 1950, p. 65 ff.
    34. Without party glasses. In: Retrieved October 5, 2019 .
    35. 1949: There was a fight over the Nazis. In: January 23, 2009, accessed September 26, 2019 .
    36. ^ The SPÖ and its brown roots: Why SPÖ socialists "became National Socialists at that time". SPÖ advertising by means of a leaflet, 1949. In: Retrieved October 25, 2019 .
    37. ^ Anton Pelinka: After the calm , Lesethek Verlag Braumüller GmbH, Vienna 2009, ISBN 978-3-9910000-6-8 , p. 15
    38. Cf. Claus Gatterer “Der kuk Sozialdemokrat” in Die Zeit from February 10, 1967.
    39. ^ Anton Pelinka : After the calm. A political autobiography. Lesethek, Vienna 2009, ISBN 978-3-9910000-6-8 , p. 47.
    40. Chancellor Gusenbauer gives up, Faymann comes. In: May 17, 2010, accessed November 26, 2018 .
    41. Red-black coalition is fixed - list of ministers not yet. In: November 24, 2008, accessed June 1, 2019 .
    42. Plush panda for Faymann's "Kuschelkurs". In: . December 3, 2008, accessed September 28, 2019 .
    43. Werner Faymann resigns as Federal Chancellor and SPÖ leader. In: . May 9, 2016, accessed November 11, 2019.
    44. ^ "Government needs a fresh start". In: May 9, 2016, accessed November 24, 2019 .
    45. Brigitte Pechar: SPÖ makes Christian Kern the new chancellor. In: May 12, 2016, accessed February 16, 2019 .
    46. Catherine Mittelstaedt, Maria Sterkl: SPÖ Bureau designated Rendi-Wagner as party leader. In: . September 22, 2018. Retrieved November 25, 2018 .
    47. ^ The SPÖ gets its first federal party leader. In: September 22, 2018. Retrieved November 26, 2018 .
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