As Austria prepares to let 16-year-olds vote for the first time in a general election, polls suggest there is little widespread enthusiasm for the contest in ten days’ time.
Although the leading parties have promised there will not be a repeat of the disastrous grand coalition, the latest surveys indicate that more people are willing to bet on Austria’s far-right parties at the expense of the traditional conservatives.
While leaders of the far-right parties highlight their social policies and anti-inflation measures, they are also not shy about revealing their xenophobic and anti-Islamic sentiments.
All of which means the current vice-Chancellor Wilhelm Molterer could face another protracted round of horse trading if his conservative Austrian People’s Party comes in fourth as predicted.
Neither he nor the Social Democrats say they are willing to work with the far-right parties.
But having already ruled out working again with the the Social Democrats, who are leading the polls, it may come down to the smaller parties such as the Greens, to determine the eventual outcome of Austria’s next government.