Austrian elections to result in rightward shift as 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz ascends

Austrian elections to result in rightward shift as 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz ascends

Today’s parliamentary elections will likely see 31-year-old Sebastien Kurz lead his conservative People’s Party to the lion’s share of the

Sebastian Kurz is expected to lead Austria after Sunday’s election

Photo: Dado Dilas

Today’s parliamentary elections will likely see 31-year-old Sebastien Kurz lead his conservative People’s Party to the lion’s share of the vote; however, polls show he will need the far-right Freedom Party to form a government.

Mr Kurz triggered the snap election in May by leading his party out of a grand coalition with centre-left chancellor Christian Kern. After months of policy stalemate, both men would rather a coalition with the far-right then return to the partnership. Kurz has courted the far-right vote, taking a tough stance on immigration and pledging to cut welfare benefits.

In coalition with the Freedom Party—which has relinquished its demands for an EU exit—Kurz is likely to push Brussels to cut costs and strengthen its external borders. At home, Mr Kurz—who’s set to become the youngest world leader in modern history—wants to boost economic activity, cut red tape and reduce taxes to the tune of $14 billion a year.

Results are expected on Monday, with coalition talks beginning shortly thereafter.

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