Austrian Elections: Center-Right and Populist Right Grow Simultaneously

author
Dr. Louis Perron
blog post louis

The Austrian people has spoken pretty clearly last Sunday. Two parties, the center-right OEVP and the populist right FPOE, who both campaigned on the issue of immigration, have won the elections. It is noteworthy that the two parties grew at the same time. The OEVP won a stunning additional 7.6% while the FPOE added 5.5%. to its previous score. In the past, it would usually be either the OEVP or the FPOE that would win voters. As a general rule, it is also dangerous for a center-right party to campaign on the issues of the far right. As French Jean-Marie Le Pen famously said, French voters vote for the original. In the case of Sebastian Kurz, however, campaigning on the traditional issue of the FPOE didn’t backfire. One of the reasons for this is that as a foreign minister who was instrumental in closing the so-called Balkan route, Kurz had his very own and personal credibility as a messenger on the issue.

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