Kurz is the clear winner of the election in austria

Kurz is the clear winner of the election in austria

The conservative ovp and the greens are the big winners of the parliamentary elections in austria. According to projections, the ovp with party leader sebastian kurz received 37.1 percent of the vote, an increase of 5.6 points compared to the 2017 election.

The greens, with top candidate werner kogler, made it back into parliament on sunday evening with 14 percent, virtually equaling their record from 2013. The ovp and the greens surprisingly had enough mandate together for an alliance. The government crisis surrounding the ibiza video, which led to the new election, did not harm kurz and his party in any way.

The losers of the election to the national council are the right-wing fpo and the social democrats. The spo of party leader pamela rendi-wagner only managed 21.8 percent – a minus of about 5 percentage points and the historically worst result of the spo. The defeat for the crisis-ridden fpo was even more pronounced, with only 16 percent of the vote. Two years ago, the right-wing populists received 26 percent of the vote. General secretary harald vilimsky indicated that the fpo sees its role in the opposition in the future. Norbert hofer, head of the fpo, also did not see the election results as a mandate "for a progressive entry into coalition talks". The liberal neos improved by 2.5 percentage points to 7.8 percent.

Kurz said in the evening that he now wanted to explore the possibilities of a government alliance with all the parties represented in parliament. "I will consider every step very carefully," said briefly.

The election was made necessary by the breakup of the ovp-fpo coalition in may. The alliance broke up over the scandal surrounding the ibiza video, which had massively discredited ex-vice chancellor and ex-fpo chief heinz-christian strache.

Grunen leader kogler called the good election result for the grunen a "sunday for the future. The greens are ready to talk, but real coalition negotiations only make sense if the OVP moves on the issues of fighting corruption, child poverty and climate protection. Spo-chief rendi-wagner regretted her party’s poor result. However, she expressed confidence that the election results would not lead to a new ovp-fpo government.

The ovp’s gap to the second strongest force is more than 15 points – a record for national council elections in the alpine republic. 6.4 million austrians were called to the polls on sunday. Since more than one million votes from brie voters will not be counted until monday, the election administration will only announce the results of the ballot box election on sunday evening. However, the projections already take into account the likely outcome of the brieahl.

The ovp had tailored the election campaign entirely to ex-chancellor kurz. The 33-year-old campaigned on the basis that he wanted to continue on the path of modernizing austria as a business location. Many voters – according to the results of the TV duels – believe he has a high level of economic competence. Migration and asylum issues did not play as dominant a role as in the 2017 election campaign.

The fpo had campaigned for a continuation of the current ovp-fpo coalition and warned against a shift to the left in the event of a coalition between the ovp and other parties. The spo focused on issues such as affordable housing, a tax-free minimum wage of 1700 euros and humanity in general. Among other things, the greens are calling for a CO2 tax, cheap tickets for local transport and a flat-rate toll on trucks.

The ibiza video from 2017, published by "spiegel" and "suddeutscher zeitung", which made strache appear susceptible to corruption, had triggered a chain reaction. After strache’s resignation from all offices, the coalition also briefly collapsed. A few days later, a vote of no confidence followed, with which kurz was overthrown as chancellor by the national council. Since then, a cabinet of experts under chancellor brigitte bierlein has ruled the country. It will remain in office until a new government is formed.

The election campaign was also marked by accusations that ex-fpo boss strache had a lavish expense account and was not correct in his accounting of receipts. The vienna public prosecutor’s office is investigating the 50-year-old on suspicion of disloyalty. Strache vehemently rejects the accusations.

Kurz has so far kept a low profile about which partner he would like to continue governing with. A continuation of the ovp-fpo coalition has so far been most desired by many voters, according to polls. Many political observers expect tough negotiations and the formation of a government only around the turn of the year.

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