13:27 GMT31 October 2020
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    The Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPO) will stay in power in the municipal legislature for the next five years, preliminary election results showed on Sunday.

    VIENNA (Sputnik) – With all 1499 precincts closed, SPO won 39.44 percent of votes to the Vienna City Council, gaining 44 mandates in the 100-seat parliament. The Austrian capital has been led by the SPO for most of the past 70 years.

    The right-wing Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), driven by the European refugee crisis and growing anti-migrant sentiment, placed second with 32.23 percent and 35 seats.

    The Austrian People’s Party (OVP) saw their support drop to 8.7 percent, the Greens remained steady at 11 percent, and the pro-European liberal NEOS – The New Austria party gained 6 percent. Each party gained seven, nine and five seats in the city council respectively.

    Sunday’s vote is seen as a test for the traditional SPO-OVP coalition to be able to cope with the crisis that propelled FPO into second place.

    FPO leader Heinz-Christian Strache, a vocal critic of the European Union’s anti-Russia sanctions, is now among the contenders to serve as a deputy to Vienna Mayor Michael Haupl, who has been in office for 21 years.

    Turnout among an estimated 1.14 million people eligible to vote was estimated 72.6 percent by 19:31 GMT.

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    Tags:
    elections, Austrian People's Party (OVP), Social Democratic Party of Austria, Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), Vienna, Austria
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