Polling-based forecast says Austria’s far right wins EU vote

By Thomson Reuters Jun 9, 2024 | 10:57 AM

VIENNA (Reuters) – The far-right Freedom Party has probably won the European Parliament election in Austria for the first time, according to a polling-based “trend forecast” for Austrian broadcasters and news agency APA published when polls closed on Sunday.

The forecast, carried out by three pollsters for national broadcaster ORF, Puls 24 TV and APA, proved accurate in the last European Parliament election in Austria. This time it showed the Freedom Party, which is in the same political group as Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National in France, clearly in first place.

The Freedom Party (FPO) was on 27%, followed by Chancellor Karl Nehammer’s conservative People’s Party (OVP) on 23.5% and the Social Democrats (SPO) on 23%, according to the forecast based on surveys of 3,600 people carried out in the past week.

It also showed the Greens and liberal Neos securing seats, both on around 10.5% The margin of error was 2.5 percentage points.

While Austria is a relatively small country with just 20 seats in the European Parliament, the vote is to some extent a rehearsal for Austria’s parliamentary election later this year. Opinion polls show the FPO has an even larger lead in that race.

The vote must be held by October and is widely expected to take place on Sept. 29.

Voters across Europe were casting their ballots on Sunday in an election for the European Parliament that is likely to shift the assembly to the right.

(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Alexander Smith and Keith Weir)