Sebastian Kurz’s conservative Austrian People’s Party favoured in snap parliamentary election

sebastian kurz
Photo: Jeon Heon-Kyun-Pool

Austrians go to the polls today to elect a new parliament, following the collapse of Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz’s coalition government in May over the “Ibiza Scandal”.

Polling suggests that Kurz’s Austrian People’s Party (OPV) could win around 34% of the 183 seats in the Austrian parliament—partly by taking votes from its damaged former coalition partner, the populist Freedom Party (FPO).

This would open up options for Kurz to form a three-party government with the centre-left Greens and pro-business NEOS party, or controversially return to the FPO—a possibility that Kurz has refused to rule out.

An OPV-Green-NEOS centrist alliance would compromise Kurz’s power as it would put a greater focus on anti-corruption and pro-environment measures. Conversely, a return to the FPO would continue Kurz’s anti-immigration agenda, a key policy.

Ultimately, expect Kurz to enhance his standing with the electorate despite this year’s scandals. This is a boon for conservative issues in the EU. An FPO coalition will enhance his voice in Europe on curbing immigration. A potentially difficult Green coalition will restrict his anti-immigration bent but may speak to the other part of his brand as a change-agent and advocate for EU reforms.


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