Austrian conservative leader to win parliamentary election

Sebastian Kurz has in the past expressed support for Israel and vowed to combat anti-Semitism.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff,

Sebastian Kurz
Sebastian Kurz
Reuters

Austrian conservative leader Sebastian Kurz won Sunday’s parliamentary election, as widely expected, but he will need a coalition partner to form a stable government and the vote left him several options across the political spectrum, Reuters reports.

The election followed the collapse in May of Kurz’s coalition with the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) after a video sting scandal that forced FPO Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache to step down.

Kurz has been largely unscathed by the scandal, however, and as predicted by opinion polls, his People’s Party (OVP) came a comfortable first, with 37.2% of the vote, according to a projection by pollster SORA for national broadcaster ORF published soon after voting ended.

The Social Democrats came second with 22.0%, well ahead of the FPO on 16.0% and the Greens on 14.3%, the projection showed. It has a margin of error of 1.8 percentage points.

“We are very confident. We have a clear goal, namely to come first in this election. We want to improve our result,” Kurz told reporters before casting his vote in Vienna, referring to the 31.5% his OVP achieved in the last election in 2017.

Kurz has said he will talk to all parties if he wins the election. His two most likely choices are either to ally with the FPO again or with the Greens and liberal Neos. A centrist coalition with the Social Democrats is possible but unlikely under their current leadership, noted Reuters.

Kurz has expressed support for Israel in the past and has spoken out against Iran’s leaders who have called for Israel’s destruction.

Kurz has also pledged to make "combating anti-Semitism in all its forms" a top priority. Last year, he condemned the rocket attacks from Gaza onto Israeli territory and stressed his country’s commitment to Israel.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Rosh Hashanah in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)




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