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Surprise victory for Social Democrats in Austria

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Surprise victory for Social Democrats in Austria

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There’ve been celebrations at the Social Democratic Party’s headquarters in Vienna following their surprise victory in Austria’s general election. Alfred Gusenbauer’s party won the vote by a margin of more than 1.5 per cent – opinion polls had predicted their defeat and it was a remarkable turnaround: the socialists had been badly hit by a corruption scandal involving the Bavag Trade Union bank.

For Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel’s Popular Party, the loss of seven per cent of the vote was a bitter disappointment – Austria’s enjoyed a strong economic performance during his six years at the helm, and he had expected a new term.