Today’s (Sunday) election in Austria resulted in what will likely be a right-wing coalition in parliament as two parties running on anti-immigration platforms took the lead. The center-right Austrian People’s Party, led by 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz, won 30% of the vote while the Nazi-affiliated Austrian Freedom Party took second with 26.8%.
31-year-old Sebastian Kurz Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
Preliminary poll results released in Austria give the conservative party’s candidate Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz the lead in today’s (Sunday) election for chancellor. At the same time, Austria’s far right-wing Freedom party earned an impressive achievement winning a place in parliament as the second largest party.
According to preliminary results, Kurz’s party won about 30% of the vote while the Social Democratic Party won only 26.2%.
31-year-old Kurz, one of the youngest world leaders, heads the conservative Austrian People’s Party (OeVP) and has served as the Austrian Foreign Minister for the past four years. Kurz won his party’s leadership role last May and made a right-wing political appeal, promising to prevent immigrants from entering Europe and reducing benefits and payments to immigrants.
Freedom Party supporters Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
The Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), led by Heinz-Christian Strache, firmly opposes Austria’s current immigration policy and stands against the so-called “Islamization” of Austria. The far right-wing party won a record of 26.8% of the vote.
In the past, the FPÖ was headed by Jörg Haider, who was considered an anti-Semite and born to Nazi parents. However, since 2008, the Austrian Freedom Party has gained increasingly more power as it began positioning itself closer to the center, appealing to newer audiences that may not have been willing to vote for it in the past. Last year, the party reached a record high after its leader, Norbert Hooper, was almost elected president, narrowly losing to his opponent with 49.7%.