The contenders in Austria’s general election have been casting their votes. Social Democrat leader Werner Faymann had a narrow lead in the polls going into the ballot. But even if he wins, the numbers suggest coalition talks will be inevitable.
Faymann’s rival, the head of the Conservative People’s Party, is Wilhelm Molterer. The coalition between the Social Democrats and the Conservatives collapsed in acrimony after just 18 months triggering this early election.
But, if the Conservatives get the larger share of the votes at the end of the day, would they want to risk throwing their lot in with the Far Right again?
Heinz-Christian Strache is hoping his Freedom Party will get 20 percent of the vote. Statistically he would be a good coalition partner. Add on the support for his political ally, Joerg Haider, and one can see the power the Far Right holds in this election. But the last time the Conservatives and the Right governed together Europe recoiled and imposed sanctions on Austria.