Conservative and nationalist Right-wing parties dominated today’s election in Austria. A coalition of the top two parties appears likely as the socialists fell into third place. CNN reports that Sebastian Kurz, a young conservative who campaigned on an anti-immigration platform, will likely be the next chancellor as his party joins forces with the Freedom Party:
Sebastian Kurz, a 31-year-old conservative, is set to become the next chancellor of Austria and Europe’s youngest leader, though he will likely need to form a coalition to rule, early results from Sunday’s election show.
The People’s Party (OVP), which Kurz has led since May, is widely expected to form an alliance with the Freedom Party (FPO), putting the far-right in an Austrian governing coalition for the first time in more than 10 years.
Austria’s conservatives (who are much more Right-wing that the center-Right in Germany, France or the UK) got 31% of the vote while the nationalists got 27.4%. The socialists finished with 26.7%. This means that the Right has a clear majority in the Austrian parliament.
Sunday’s election was widely watched across Europe, where there has been a rise of populist far-right parties, many of which have campaigned on anti-immigration platforms.
…While the result appears to be a clear win for the conservatives, it also puts the far-right FPO in the powerful position of kingmaker, after a campaign period that saw a marked shift to the right.
…Immigration has dominated the campaign. Kurz has taken a hard line, calling for limits on the number of refugees entering Europe and benefits cuts for EU migrants living in Austria.
In 2016, Kurz spearheaded a border crackdown across the Balkans designed to stem the flow of migrants, and this year he proposed plans to seal off the Mediterranean route to Europe.
UPDATE: The butt-hurt from The Washington Post (the most biased and shrill major newspaper in the United States) is fantastic.
Austria became the latest European country to take a sharp turn right on Sunday, with the conservative People’s Party riding a hard-line position on immigration to victory in national elections and likely to form a government with a nationalist party that has long advocated for an even tougher stance.
…The Freedom Party, whose first leader was a former SS officer and whose current leader was a onetime neo-Nazi youth activist, has been in government before; it teamed with the People’s Party for five years starting in 2000. At the time, the European Union imposed sanctions against Austria to show its displeasure with a government that included a party long relegated to the fringe.
But in a measure of how far Europe has shifted to the right, no one is contemplating sanctions today.