VIENNA (Reuters) – Austrians vote on Sunday in a snap parliamentary election that conservative chief Sebastian Kurz appears set to win, however he’ll nonetheless want a coalition companion to safe a majority and it stays unclear whom he’ll decide.
An election poster depicting the top of Austria’s Peoples Occasion and former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is seen, as he attends the ultimate election rally forward of Austria’s parliamentary election, in Vienna, Austria, September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
The election follows the collapse in Could of Kurz’s coalition with the far-right Freedom Occasion (FPO) after a video sting scandal that pressured FPO Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache to step down.
Kurz, 33, has emerged largely unscathed from the scandal, even gaining voters from the FPO as its assist has slipped to roughly a fifth of the citizens from simply over 1 / 4 within the final vote in 2017. On the left, there was some shift in assist from the Social Democrats to the resurgent Greens.
However the general image because the scandal’s instant aftermath has been remarkably secure. Opinion polls have typically proven Kurz’s Individuals’s Occasion (OVP) far forward on roughly a 3rd of the vote, the Social Democrats barely forward of the FPO and the Greens a distant fourth.
“Numerous agitation, however not a lot motion,” nationwide broadcaster ORF mentioned on Saturday, summarizing a marketing campaign with many debates between occasion leaders that didn’t make a critical mark on the opinion polls.
Kurz has mentioned he’ll speak to all events after the election if he wins. His two most definitely choices are both to ally with the FPO once more or with the Greens and liberal Neos. A centrist coalition with the Social Democrats is feasible however unlikely underneath their present management.
Surveys counsel the setting is voters’ high concern, which has helped the Greens surge from lower than four% within the final election in 2017, once they crashed out of parliament, to round 13% now.
Whereas they could be capable to give Kurz and his occasion a slender majority in parliament, he’s unlikely to wish to be on the mercy of a small variety of its left-wing lawmakers, which means that if he chooses to ally with the Greens he’ll in all probability search a three-way tie-up together with the pro-business Neos.
Because the marketing campaign wound up final week, the FPO sought to focus voters’ consideration on its core situation of migration, railing in opposition to immigrants typically and Muslims specifically, reasonably than addressing latest scandals which have eroded its assist.
The widespread assumption amongst politicians and analysts is that the election will likely be adopted by an extended interval of coalition talks, which means the present provisional authorities of civil servants led by former choose Brigitte Bierlein might stay in place till Christmas or later.
Polling stations open at 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) and the primary projections are due shortly after voting ends at 5 p.m.