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Center-left Wins Vienna Election, No Comeback For Strache

Heinz-Christian Strache, former leader of the right-wing Freedom Party, FPOE, delivers a speech for his party Team Strache at a closing rally ahead the local elections in Vienna, Austria, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

Heinz-Christian Strache, former leader of the right-wing Freedom Party, FPOE, delivers a speech for his party Team Strache at a closing rally ahead the local elections in Vienna, Austria, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

Austria's main center-left party has won a regional election in Vienna that saw the far-right Freedom Party lose more than two-thirds of its support and its former leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, apparently fail to make a political comeback.

Austria’s main center-left party has won a regional election in Vienna that saw the far-right Freedom Party lose more than two-thirds of its support and its former leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, apparently fail to make a political comeback.

Preliminary final results from Sunday’s election, including an estimate of postal votes that have yet to be counted, showed the center-left Social Democrats winning more than 42% of the vote, making slight gains and cementing Mayor Michael Ludwig’s position, the Austria Press Agency reported.

The party is in opposition nationally to a coalition of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s conservative Austrian People’s Party and the Greens, which both moved up, to around 19% and over 13% respectively.

The Freedom Party, Kurz’s former partner in a national government that collapsed in a scandal last year, saw its support collapse from just over 30% to around 8%.

In May 2019, a video showing then-Freedom Party leader Strache offering favors to a purported Russian investor prompted Kurz to pull the plug on the national government. Strache, who denied any wrongdoing, was later kicked out of the Freedom Party.

Strache ran in the Vienna election with a new party, Team HC Strache, but the preliminary results showed it polling 4% at most falling short of the 5% needed to win seats in the local legislature.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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