Against growing immigration policy backlash, early results in the Austria election show the center-right People’s Party (OVP), led by Sebastian Kurz, winning with around 31 percent of the vote. The second place party, Freedom Party (FPO), with around 27% is even more euro-skeptic and nationalistic minded. The Social Democrat Party, the former lead party, has dropped to third place with around 26%.
(Via Express UK) The People’s Party (OVP) got 30.2 per cent of the vote, according to exit polls from Austrian news channel ORF.
Mr Kurz’s party is tough on migration, easy on taxes and widely Eurosceptic after rebranding itself over the last few months to propel its popularity in the wealthy Alpine nation.
He is expected to form a coalition with the right-wing populist Freedom party (FPO), who got 26.8 per cent of the vote, according to the latest projections.
Speaking after 85 per cent of the votes were counted, he told his cheering supporters: “Today we have won a huge mandate to change this country, and I promise you I will work with all my energy for change.
“We want to establish a new culture in politics. And we want to change the country for the better.”
Meanwhile, the Social Democratic Party, the largest party in the last government, are in third place with 26.3 per cent. (link)
(Via Reuters) There was a temptation after the Dutch and French elections this year to declare an end to the nationalist/populist wave in Europe. But last month’s German election, which saw the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party surge into the Bundestag, and now the Austrian election, say otherwise.
Despite a hard shift right by the conservative OVP under Kurz, the FPO appeared close to the all-time high of 26.9 it won in 1999. That result paved the way for it to enter government, a move which prompted a horrified European Union to impose sanctions against Austria. If the FPO enters the government this time, expect little more than a whimper.
The Austrian result showed that the refugee crisis of 2015 has left deep scars among European voters, especially in countries that were at the center of the storm. The number of asylum seekers entering Austria has fallen sharply over the past year. But migration was the dominant theme in the election. (read more)