Mayor run-off elections in 28 Carinthian municipalities

In 28 Carinthian municipalities, the runoff election for the mayor’s office began early this morning on Sunday. In addition to the state capital Klagenfurt, votes are also taken in the district cities of Spittal an der Drau and Hermagor, as well as in the cities of St. Andrä, Bleiburg and Gmünd. The voting closes at 4 p.m., in Klagenfurt a provisional result without voting cards is expected between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. The final result will not be known until late in the evening when the voting cards have also been counted.

Mayor Maria-Luise Mathiaschitz (SPÖ) hopes to defend her position against her predecessor Christian Scheider, who switched from the FPÖ to the Carinthia team before the election. In the first ballot on February 28, the incumbent received 33.4 percent of the vote, just ahead of Scheider, who got 30.6 percent. Both have been campaigning practically uninterrupted in the past few days, and a close race is expected. The decisive factor will be where the votes of the eight candidates who lost in the first ballot go. Voters can put voting cards into a post box or hand them in at a polling station until Sunday at 4 p.m.

It could also be close in Spittal an der Drau. Here incumbent Gerhard Pirih (SPÖ) fights against his predecessor Gerhard Köfer (Team Carinthia), who used to be with the SPÖ. Köfer was just ahead of Pirih (35 percent) in the first ballot with 36.2 percent. In Hermagor city boss Siegfried Ronacher (SPÖ), who achieved 44.2 percent, has to go to the runoff election against ÖVP challenger Leopold Astner (37.6 percent). In 2015, Ronacher prevailed by a narrow seven votes.

Nationwide, the SPÖ won 60 mayors in the 2015 local elections, the ÖVP 42 – some of them with lists of names – and the FPÖ 24. Two mayors have so far provided the Slovenian unified list / Enotna lista, one from the Carinthia team. The remainder are for candidates from lists of names.

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