Austria's Beer Party: From Joke to Serious Election Contender

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.30 - 2024 1:52 PM CET

Photo: Die Bierpartei on YouTube
Photo: Die Bierpartei on YouTube
Austria's Beer Party, founded largely as a joke in 2015, will contest the parliamentary elections this year.

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Austria’s Beer Party, originally established as a joke in 2015, is now set to make a serious entry into this year’s parliamentary elections.

Founded by Dominik Vlatsny, a doctor and rock musician, the party has evolved from a humorous initiative into a political group that could potentially influence the distribution of votes among traditional parties.

From Humor to Serious Politics

Dominik Vlatsny, the leader of the Beer Party, announced the party's intention to participate in the upcoming elections, driven by substantial public support.

"Yes, the Beer Party will run in the upcoming parliamentary elections. The support we've received is tremendous. It's very motivating," Vlatsny stated during a media briefing.

The decision to run was contingent on raising sufficient funds. The party aimed to expand its membership from about 1,300 active members to 20,000 by the end of 2023. Although still far from this target, Vlatsny remains optimistic, noting that funding is steadily increasing.

"We're more than halfway to our funding goal. Our glass is half full, so to speak, and more is pouring in all the time," he explained.

In the 2019 parliamentary elections, the Beer Party garnered only 0.1% of the vote. However, Vlatsny himself achieved a significant milestone by coming in third in the 2022 presidential election with 8.3% of the vote.

Current polls show him backed by 5% to 7% of voters, with the party needing at least 4% to gain seats in parliament.

Campaign Promises

The Beer Party has campaigned on a variety of issues, from the significant to the whimsical, including improving healthcare and proposing the installation of public beer fountains in Vienna.

These unique campaign promises have helped the party stand out and garner attention both nationally and internationally.

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