Austria’s Upcoming Election Set for Sept. 29 Amid Rising Right-Wing Support

Austria’s government has announced that the next parliamentary election will be held on Sept. 29, marking the end of the current five-year term. This decision follows a recent narrow victory by the far-right Freedom Party in the European Parliament election, where they surpassed Chancellor Karl Nehammer’s conservative Austrian People’s Party.

The Freedom Party secured 25.4% of the vote in the European election, achieving first place in a nationwide election for the first time. They were closely followed by the People’s Party, which garnered 24.5% of the vote. Polls for the upcoming general election predict a wider gap, with the Freedom Party expected to maintain its lead.

In response to his party’s defeat, Nehammer acknowledged the public’s dissatisfaction and pledged to address their concerns over the next few months. He emphasized his commitment to tackling issues such as migration and overregulation, aiming to regain voter trust.

Austria’s last national election took place in September 2019, after then-chancellor Sebastian Kurz dissolved the coalition between the People’s Party and the Freedom Party. This decision came after a scandal involving Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache, who was caught on video offering government contracts to a supposed Russian investor.

As Austria prepares for the upcoming election, the political landscape is shifting, with right-wing parties gaining momentum. The outcome of the September election will be crucial in determining the country’s future direction, especially on key issues like immigration and regulation.