comments_image Comments

Austria ruling coalition secures narrow majority

Heinz-Christian Strache, candidate for the Freiheitliche Partei Oesterreichs FPOe Party (Freedom Party) celebrates near his party headquarters in Vienna, Austria on September 29, 2013
Heinz-Christian Strache, candidate for the Freiheitliche Partei Oesterreichs FPOe Party (Freedom Party) celebrates near his party headquarters in Vienna, Austria on September 29, 2013

Austria's two main centrist political parties have scraped together a narrow majority in weekend elections, official results published late Thursday confirmed.

The Social Democrats (SPOe) garnered 26.82 percent of support in Sunday's vote, while its coalition partner, the conservative People's Party (OeVP), took 23.99 percent, results published by the Interior Ministry showed. Both parties performed worse than at the 2008 elections.

The anti-immigration and eurosceptic Freedom Party (FPOe) came in third place with 20.51 percent of support, an improved showing compared with 2008 but short of Joerg Haider's record 27 percent in 1999.

Another far-right party, Alliance for Austria's Future (BZOe), founded by Haider in 2005 when he split from the Freedom Party, fell short of the four percent threshold to enter parliament.

Two new parties will however be represented, with Austro-Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach's Team Stronach obtaining 5.73 percent and the liberal New Austria (NEOS) taking 4.96 percent of the vote.

Overall turnout was 74.91 percent, lower than in 2008.

The new parliament will be formed on October 29. Chancellor Werner Faymann continues to lead the grand coalition of SPOe and OeVP in the meantime.

Share