Brevity is the soul of politics: Speeches in the National Assembly of Austria

Politicians like to talk, as everyone knows. They even like to talk so much that the speaking time had to be limited – due to a marathon speech held by the green delegate Petrovic in 1993 lasting more than 10 hours. Currently we are in the 25th legislative period (since September 2013) and things have changed. The speaking time was divided among the parties according to the Viennese Hour which grants every club time at the lectern according to their size. However, it is the choice of each party who rises to speak.


On the amount of speeches of each of the 183 politicians is listed – analysing this data is highly interesting! The top of the list is formed by parliamentarians of the small NEOS party who only have 9 delegates. Gerald Loacker and Matthias Strolz each held over 90 speeches so far! Only a little bit behind we find Beate Meinl-Reisinger. The NEOS just don’t have so many people to spread the time among; similar to the Team Stronach.

The ÖVP is mid-table and a lot of different people get a chance to speak. The situation is also very similar at the SPÖ. Only Blue and Green are interesting cases. Both parties have politicians at the top (over 50 speeches in 93 sessions) and the lower end of the list.

The end is blue

In last place we find Ing. Heinz-Peter Hackl from the FPÖ. He held a total of three (!) speeches in the current legislative period! The end of the ranking is completed by a few other FPÖ- and SPÖ-representatives. With only 11 speeches the highly popular (>16,000 likes on Facebook) Julian Schmid is the most taciturn of the whole Green party. Therefore the quote from his website seems quite ironic: “I want to give a voice to the youth in the parliament […]”. Similar dimensions apply to the former presidential candidate Barbara Rosenkranz (FPÖ). She nearly has more children than held speeches (10 kids versus 16 speeches).


Women like to talk! So much for that!

The analysis of the data shows that women hold, on average, less speeches than their male counterparts. Women stand at the lectern on average 29.5 times, men on the contrary 31.9 times. The rest of the date support the results from above.


All in all there are a lot of average politicians (31.1 speeches so far) but also a few extremes. Let’s hope for some of them that brevity is not only the soul of wit but also of politics.

Data from


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