Extreme Right Wins Big in Austrian Poll

Two anti-Islam parties take nearly a third of the vote
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2008 7:56 AM CDT
Werner Faymann arrives at Social Democrat party headquarters in Vienna. Faymann will become Austria's new chancellor, but the real winners may turn out to be the country's two far-right parties.   (AP Photo/Andreas Schaad)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Austrians woke up today to a shock election result, as 2 extreme right parties won nearly a third of the vote and the two main parties posted their worst results since World War II. The next chancellor will probably be Social Democrat leader Werner Faymann, with 30% of the electorate, but he will struggle to form a coalition after ruling out talks with the two anti-immigrant, anti-Islam parties.

In Vienna last night supporters of the hard-right Freedom Party—mostly young and middle-aged men—drank beer and shouted as the results came in. The Freedom Party had a role in one Austrian government, in 2000, provoking the European Union to impose sanctions. This time, though, the most likely outcome is a German-style grand coalition between the mainstream left and right parties.