Austrian Pirate Party Wins First Seat, Makes Frontpage News

In the local election of Innsbruck, the Austrian Pirate Party has sent shockwaves by taking its first Austrian seat, finishing at 3.8% in the election.

This caused frontpage news in Austria – the tweeter @Exiledsurfer was kind enough to tweet the pictured frontpage. Taking one seat in the city parliament of Innsbruck in a local election may not seem like much – but it’s large enough to make the front page story, heralding a strong trend all over Europe – you can almost read the strong headline (“Pirates Get Their First Seat”) as though it read “It Begins!”. It is also noteworthy that their election budget was a mere three thousand euros.

This is a common recurring theme across Europe right now. South America is coming along well too, but appears to have trickier party registration rules – in any case, the PPs of Brazil and Argentina have been frequently seen in the community. The United States is boosting its presence state by state as well, although they have a different political system and will have to work with a slightly different modus operandi.

As I just wrote on TorrentFreak, it’s important to understand that when you take 5% of the votes in Europe, you get 5% of the seats. Thus, the political system in most countries of Europe is open to shifting its policy once you have the support of some quarter-million people. (The United Kingdom and France are exceptions, except for their elections to the European Parliament.)

I predict we will see more news of this sort in the very near future. In the meantime, congratulations to Piratenpartei Austria (PPAT) are certainly in order.

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. He lives on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany, roasts his own coffee, and as of right now (2019-2020) is taking a little break.


  1. Andrew Norton

    Gut gemacht Piratenkameraden

  2. CMS

    I’m screaming of joy right now.

  3. Brady

    Congratulations to PPAT!

    Proving that the party’s platforms are appealing across many countries provides a significant boost to our confidence, not to mention proving the legitimacy of the movement.

    It may be difficult for us to replicate such feats in the US, but the dedication of those in Europe is paving the way. Focusing on solid foundations for local parties, integrating ourselves into local politics, and seeing how we can apply Pirate platforms to local governance may be the faster route to higher office. I think this is the lesson we are learning across the pond.

    As an aside, I am enamored by all the excellent flags I see in Europe and I saw them for sale at quite a reasonable price. I’d love to know where to get these made in America…so far I have only found expensive sewn options and cheaply-made-but-expensive-in-small-batch flags.

  4. Paulo Rená

    Ufortunattely here in Brazil we didn’t went for formalozation in time for running this year election, in wich 5000 cities will have at lest 10 ward seats each. We could be the next big frontpage news. But we will be fully formal by the end of the year, and that too shall be a big thing.

  5. DannyUfonek

    Ooh. Now that Pirates have succeeded in Germany, Austria and are on the rise in Poland, we should definitely catch up! Too bad I didn’t go to the PPI conference, even when it was so close.
    GJ Pirates, carry on and keep up the good work 🙂

  6. RealPaul

    This is more great news. The Pirate Party is on the move and will change things. We in North America should take heart and realize the message we share is a popular one. Even though our political models may seem to work against us ( first past the post), it is still possible.

    Congratulations to the Pirate Party of Austria.

  7. Resultat för piraterna i Tyrolen « Viktualiebrodern

    […] hade missat att det tyrolska Piratenpartei ställde upp i kommunalvalet i Innsbruck i söndags. Som Rick Falkvinge skriver blev det en framgÃ¥ng, 1884 röster eller 3,81% och ett mandat (valprotokoll (pdf), sidan 3). I […]

  8. […] Fuente Rick Falkvinge En las elecciones locales de Innsbruck, el Partido Pirata austríaco ha enviado ondas de choque mediante la obtención de su primera banca en Austria, terminando con el 3,8% en la elección. Piratas Austríacos conquistan un asiento en el Parlamento […]

  9. gurra

    Really awesome!

  10. kh

    Glückwunsch zu unseren südlichen Nachbarn!
    (Congratulations to our souther neighbors)!

    Klarmachen zum Ändern!!!!

  11. […] As I just wrote on TorrentFreak, it’s important to understand that when you take 5% of the votes in Europe, you get 5% of the seats. (Read more) […]


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