The Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) is set for first place with the right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ) heading for second.
Austria’s conservatives and right-wing populists surged to victory in Sunday’s parliamentary election, according to early projections, heralding a tectonic shift in the country’s politics after more than a decade under a centrist coalition.
The result, coming less than a month after the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) won nearly 13 percent of the German vote, illustrates the continued potency of the refugee crisis in European politics, a message that will resonate across the EU. Austria accepted one of the highest proportions refugees during the 2015 crisis.
Kurz, currently foreign minister, shaped his entire campaign around the question of limiting migration, while the FPÖ ran on a hardline anti-Islam platform.
The SPÖ, which has led a grand coalition with the ÖVP since 2007, was blamed by many voters for allowing large numbers of refugees into the country. It recorded its worst showing since 1945.