Pamela Rendi-Wagner as the most likely candidate to win the federal party chairmanship in the SPÖ member survey. According to Pelinka, Rendi-Wagner is the only viable option for power for the SPÖ after the upcoming national elections, as a majority without the ÖVP is unlikely. Pelinka rules out a coalition with the FPÖ, as all three SPÖ opponents have already ruled this out. He also dismisses the possibility of a traffic light coalition with the Greens and Neos as wishful thinking.
Pelinka believes that Rendi-Wagner’s trump cards include the support of the powerful Viennese SPÖ, the red trade unionists, and the “female factor”. He argues that Rendi-Wagner’s gender could work in her favor, as there is a disparaging assumption among men in the SPÖ that a woman at the top of the Social Democracy could not be the right one. Pelinka also cites statements of support from SPÖ grandees, such as former Federal Chancellor Franz Vranitzky and ex-Federal President Heinz Fischer, as helpful.
However, Pelinka criticizes Hans Peter Doskozil, the governor of Burgenland and Rendi-Wagner’s opponent, for ruling out a coalition with the People’s Party, as a mathematical “traffic light” majority is unrealistic. While Pelinka sees the candidate Andreas Babler as meeting the “nostalgia expectations” and the “emotional world” of many, he believes that there is a lot of naivety and too little consistency in his programmatic ideas.
Pelinka sees Rendi-Wagner’s victory in the member survey as a step towards preserving the only real option for power for the SPÖ, which is a coalition with the ÖVP after the upcoming national elections. He also believes that Rendi-Wagner’s gender could trigger a positive counter-movement for the party leader, similar to the election of Barack Obama as the first black US President.
The SPÖ is gearing up for a tough battle in the upcoming federal party chairmanship election, with Rendi-Wagner emerging as the favorite candidate. Her support from key SPÖ figures and her “female factor” could work in her favor, but the party will need to consider its options carefully as it looks towards the national elections. With a majority without the ÖVP looking unlikely, a coalition with the People’s Party could be the best option for the SPÖ to maintain its hold on power. Whether Rendi-Wagner’s victory in the member survey will lead to a positive counter-movement for the party leader remains to be seen, but the SPÖ will undoubtedly be watching closely as the election approaches.
Pelinka further emphasizes the importance of the SPÖ’s party chairman, stating that the party needs a leader who can unite the party and present a clear program. He believes that Rendi-Wagner is the only candidate who can do this, as she has experience in healthcare and is well-respected within the party. Pelinka also points out that Rendi-Wagner has the potential to attract new voters, especially women, who have traditionally been underrepresented in Austrian politics.
The upcoming federal party chairmanship election in the SPÖ is expected to be closely watched, as the party looks to regain power after a disappointing showing in the 2019 national elections. The election will take place in June 2023, and the winner will lead the party into the upcoming national elections, which are scheduled for September 2023.
Rendi-Wagner’s candidacy has been met with mixed reactions within the party. While many party members have expressed support for her, others have criticized her for not being strong enough on certain issues, such as migration and security. Rendi-Wagner has defended her positions, stating that she is committed to building a strong and united party that can address the challenges facing Austria today.
Despite the challenges facing the SPÖ, Pelinka remains optimistic about the party’s future. He believes that the SPÖ can win back power and make a meaningful contribution to Austrian politics, but only if it has the right leader. He sees Rendi-Wagner as that leader, and believes that her victory in the party’s member survey would be a significant step towards achieving that goal.
As the election draws near, all eyes will be on the SPÖ and its candidates. With so much at stake, the party’s choice of leader could have a significant impact on the future of Austrian politics. Whether Rendi-Wagner can emerge victorious remains to be seen, but one thing is certain – the race for the federal party chairmanship in the SPÖ will be closely watched by political observers across Austria and beyond.