March 4. 2024. 11:03

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Austria’s far-right poised to join government race in fastest-ever comeback


Austria’s far-right FPÖ party, known for a series of scandals, is looking set to make major gains in two upcoming state elections, likely cementing its fastest-ever comeback as a serious contender to lead the government.

All eyes are now on the next two state elections, particularly after the FPÖ came second with 24.2% in the state elections of Lower Austria, the ÖVP’s heartland, on 29 January – a historic success for the party.

The next state elections are to be held on 5 March in the historical far-right Carinthia where the deceased “holy” party shaper Jörg Haider and Kickl hail from.

Though the social democrat SPÖ lead the latest Carithian opinion poll conducted in August with 20%, recent trends, and the SPÖ’s harsh loss in Lower Austria have led observers to believe that the race may be much closer.

“Austria is calling for a change at the top,” the party’s Spitzenkandidat, Erwin Angerer, stressed on 3 February.

State elections will then be held in April in Salzburg, for which a December survey put the FPÖ in third place, though it could even clinch second or first spot depending on the results of the ruling centre-right ÖVP. Even Salzburg’s SPÖ has signalled that it would be ready to govern alongside the FPÖ, forming a second and third-place government.

(Nikolaus J. Kurmayer | EURACTIV.de)