Voting begins in early elections in Austria

Voting for early elections in Austria began today at 06.00 (04.00 GMT), with the Popular Party (ÖVP) committed to repeating its 2017 victory.

The big question is whether arithmetic and the political situation will allow him to reissue the coalition he had until May with the ultranationalists.

The last polling stations will close their doors at 5:00 p.m. (3:00 p.m. GMT) and it is expected that shortly thereafter, estimated results will be announced, since in several regions the vote will end earlier and the ballot count will be advanced.

However, due to the record of more than one million requests to vote by mail, the count will initially lack up to 20% of the total ballots, so the final result will not be known until Monday.

The polls give the ÖVP of former Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz up to 35% of the votes, 3.5% more than in the general elections of October 2017, which would have about 65 of the 183 seats of the Nationalrat, the lower house of Parliament.

Kurz ruled until last May, until a corruption scandal in his coalition partner, the ultranationalist FPÖ, broke the government pact and prompted a motion of censure.

The FPÖ could, according to the polls, lose six points and remain in 20% of the votes and 38 deputies, moderately affected by the fact that its leader until May, Heinz-Christian Strache, is being investigated for embezzlement.

The polls augur the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) the worst result in its history, 22% of the votes and 42 seats, five points and ten deputies less than two years ago.

The fourth force would be The Greens, who would star in a triumphant return to Parliament with up to 24 representatives. After not having reached the minimum 4% in 2017 to have parliamentary representation, the party would now achieve up to 13%, driven by the growing importance of the environmental and climate debate.

Neos, a liberal formation, would overcome its 2017 results and go from 10 to 15 deputies.

If the distribution of seats is confirmed, Kurz could choose to re-edit the coalition with the ultras, based mainly on tough anti-immigration policies, or try a tripartite with the Greens and Neos.

Mathematically possible but politically unlikely, due to the current discrepancy between the two formations, it would be a great coalition with the Social Democrats.

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