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Kurz Wins Austria Vote. But Will He Turn to Far Right or Greens to Govern?

“Based on an analysis of key issues, there is an 80 percent convergence between the People’s Party and the Freedom Party, while the People’s Party and the Greens only agree on about 20 percent of issues,” said Peter Filzmaier, a professor of politics at Danube University Krems.

But based on the performances of the other parties at the polls, Mr. Kurz may opt to look leftward.

“After what we have seen today, a coalition between the conservatives and the far right has become less probable and a coalition with the conservatives and the Greens more probable,” Mr. Filzmaier said.

The Socialists, another possible governing partner, suffered their worst showing since 1945, earning only 21.8 percent support based on the results so far. The decision by the party to call a no-confidence vote against Mr. Kurz in May, ushering in a caretaker government, led to acrimony between the center-right and center-left that analysts said made a potential coalition between the two unlikely.

The other big winners of the evening were the Greens, who returned to Parliament with 14 percent of the vote, two years after infighting caused the party to split and crash out of the legislature, having earned less than 4 percent of the vote.

The surge in support for the Greens meant the party was strong enough to enter into a two-way coalition with Mr. Kurz’s conservatives. But that would require compromise from all sides, especially on essential issues where the former chancellor has championed a much tougher line, including migration, domestic security and the welfare state.

The leader of the Greens, Werner Kogler, said his party would focus on delivering on its campaign promises to turn around the policies of the previous government.

“There needs to be radical change” in environmental and climate policies and the fight against corruption, Mr. Kogler told ORF.

Source: NYT > World News

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