The New Austria and Liberal Forum, Austria
NEOS stands for a New Austria, where every citizen has the opportunity to seize their opportunities and create something on their own. As a citizen's movement, they were founded on the premise of fighting against 'the system'.
The NEOS Party was founded in 2012 and occupies a centre, pro-European stance. Since the elections in 2017 NEOS have 10 MPs and won 5.3% of votes. NEOS became a full member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) on 2 May 2014 and hit the ground running when mentions of using Ecanvasser were bandied about initially.
Making a mark
As a relatively new political party in Austria, NEOS needed to embrace technology to not only set them apart from their rivals but also let them catch up on the long established parties that they hoped to rival. Their goals fit perfectly with the Ecanvasser company mission, which are:
- Modernization - reshaping politics
- An entrepreneurial Austria
- Create an innovative model for democracy
Helping NEOS achieve those goals
The contemporary framework of NEOS lends itself to quick on-boarding of new technologies. So first things first, a re-run of a local election was the setting for the trial with a very fast set-up required. The initial concern was around whether the app would be confusing for Austrians as it was only available to them in English. However, as the majority of the app interaction is designed by the campaign team, including Talking Points and Surveys, it did not prove to be an issue.
According to Christoph Jung of the campaign team, “The app was used by almost all canvassers and there was no negative feedback at all". The app was liked especially because it saved time and made it possible to detail communications with potential voters. It was mentioned that potential voters appreciated the professional “touch” of using an app.
The second issue faced by the Ecanvasser Support team was in using Google API mapping technology to process German language abbreviations of addresses, for example, Str. for Strasse. With a bit of help from our team, NEOS were able to get everything up and running within a week. They split their 70,000 plus voters into Precincts and, in that way, were able to speed up the process of on-the-ground organizing.
Austria and Tech
NEOS have radically improved their organizational structure for volunteer members.The quality of information being disseminated in the community is enhanced by Ecanvasser Talking Points which are delivered to volunteers directly through their mobile app. NEOS are now rolling out two new projects with Ecanvasser, one covering all of Vienna on an ongoing basis, and the other focusing on a specific demographic nationally.The future of voter engagement for NEOS now lies with Ecanvasser and we are excited to see what comes next.