Victory in parliamentary elections to the national Council, the lower house of the Federal Assembly (Parliament) of Austria, was won by the conservative Austrian people’s party (OVP), led by their unprecedented young leaders Sebestiana Kurtz. According to preliminary calculations, the OVP gained 31.7% of the votes or a third of the seats in Parliament, and significantly ahead of its competitors. The centre-left Social democratic party of Austria (SPO), which ruled the country in coalition for the last ten years, the second place. The social Democrats gained 27%.
Roll on the Austrian right is evidenced by the third place of the far-right Austrian freedom party (FPO), which received 25.9% of votes and lost quite a bit of SPO. Noteworthy that for the first time in the history of the main right-wing parties managed to increase its representation in the National Council, not by each other, and other parties.
The main losers of Sunday’s election, will undoubtedly become «green». They suffered a crushing defeat. Austrian «green» gained 4% of votes and for the first time in 38 years have not passed in Parliament. On the other hand, for the first time in the Supreme legislative body of Austria will include the left-centrist party «the List of Peter Pilz».
The social Democrats have strengthened their positions in Vienna, scoring in the capital is 3% more than in previous elections. This local, but still a major success lets the party leader and current Chancellor of Austria Christian Kern to argue that the election results are not a defeat, but a small step backwards.
Themselves from the «dirty bucket»
On the results of the SPO, which has positioned itself as a progressive alternative to right-wing offensive, was severely affected by the scandal, called the Austrian journalists «dirty bucket». The scandal shook the political world of Austria in the beginning of October, when it became known that one of the senior social Democrats paid from party funds the activities of several websites, printed anti-Semitic conspiracy theories to discredit the right-wing voters SPO main opponent – the leader of «populists», Sebastian Kurz.
At least two pages in Facebook, for example, was placed in made Photoshop pictures and movies, accusing Kurtz that he is secretly preparing the ground for new waves of immigrants from Muslim countries. He was also accused that he is a supporter of George Soros, which in Central Europe in General a negative attitude.
Victory will allow the 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz not only to lead the government, but also to become the youngest leader on the planet. The victory of the «populists», it is largely the merit of their charismatic leader, who promised the Austrians to bring «new political culture». During the election campaign he promised to lower taxes and strengthen the fight against «political Islam», i.e. borrowed slogans from the extreme right. Not surprisingly, more than half (55%) voted for OVP gave them voices because they approve of the party’s position on the issue of migrants and their integration into the Austrian society.
What will they say in Moscow
On the eve of elections the leader of the social Democrats has repeatedly stated that in case of defeat will prefer preserving the coalition’s transition into opposition. Most likely, the new government will form with OVP allies from an even more right FPO. Experience of participation in the government of the right-wing is already there. They twice included in the study: in 1983 with the SPO and OVP in 2000. Both times such a ruling coalition caused vigorous protests and economic sanctions by Israel and several European countries.
Under the new leader – Heinze-Christian strache, who led the right-wing after the split in 2005, several FPO changed the accents – it went from «blurry» rejection of migrants in General to a more narrow fight with Islamic immigration. On one of the campaign rallies strache has called on Austria to join the Visegrad four, which stands out among European informal unions critical attitude towards migrants from Muslim countries. Speaking on television Sunday night, the leader of the far right called the election result «a great victory» that showed «the desire of the Austrians to change.»
The convincing victory of the OVP and FPO slightly «sweeten» the European right to the end of 2017. The current year was initially promised them great victories, but in the end led to a disappointment. Of course, Austria because of their size and «weight» in the European political arena does not compensate right «bitterness of defeat» colleagues in the Netherlands and France.
In Moscow, the election results in Austria will surely treat favorably. The new leader of Austria, however, as the previous administration was opposed to anti-Russian sanctions. Austria will probably continue of pan-European solidarity, to vote for the extension of sanctions, but it will be even more vigorously to advocate for their weakening or even complete abolition.
Kurz as foreign Minister was forced to gently comment on the annexation of Crimea to Russia. However, thanks to the participation of the FPO in the government, of course, if the «populists» decide with them to create a ruling coalition, relations between Austria and Russia can improve. Heinz-Christian strache unconditionally supported the joining of Crimea to Russia and called for the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions.