Sebastian Kurz, 31, claims victory as Austria takes turn to the right

16 October, 2017, 04:48 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Former Austrian presidential candidate Norbert Hofer

In the Parliament, according to opinion polls, should also get right populist Austrian freedom party (fpö), to overcome the four percent barrier can and the Green and liberal party NEOS - "New Austria and liberal forum".

Mr Kurz's People's Party (OVP) is in the lead with 30.2 per cent, with its current coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SPO), at 26.3 per cent, neck-and-neck with the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) which is at 26.8 per cent, a projection by pollster Sora said shortly after polls closed, based on an early count of 42 per cent of non-postal ballots.

The People's Party was set to win more than 31%. That should translate to 62 of 183 seats, according to ORF.

Kurz became the leader of the party in May.

Detailed results will be announced October 19 and full official results will be declared on October 31.

But the OVP is well short of a majority and could seek an alliance with the far right.

"I'm not sure that we really need big changes", Tina Ernest said at a Vienna polling station Sunday.

Chancellor Christian Kern's SPO are in a coalition with the OVP but Mr Kurz ended the alliance when he took over his party in May, forcing yesterday's snap election.

"Austria's central role in post-war European constriction founded on democracy and human rights must not be allowed to be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency and short-term populism which reminds us of far-darker times within living memory", he urged.

Austria rejected a far-right presidency less than a year ago.

Immigration has dominated the campaign.

In 2016, Kurz spearheaded a border crackdown across the Balkans created to stem the flow of migrants, and this year he proposed plans to seal off the Mediterranean route to Europe.

Austria is now governed by the Grand Coalition of Social Democratic Party (SPO) and Austrian People's Party (OVP), but alleged win of OVP may significantly change the power balance.



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