The People's Party advocates conservative financial policies and privatization of much of Austria's nationalized industry and finds support from farmers, large and small business owners, and lay Catholic groups, mostly in the rural regions of Austria. In 1995, it received 28% of the vote.
In 2000, the People's Party formed a coalition government with the right-wing populist Jörg Haider's Austrian Freedom Party. This caused widespread outrage in Europe, and 14 European states initiated diplomatic sanctions against Austria.
In November 2002, general elections resulted in a landslide victory (42.27% of the vote) for the People's Party under the leadership of Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel. Haider's Freedom Party, which in 1999 was stronger than Schüssel's party, was reduced to 10.16% of the vote.