Conservative leader Sebastian Kurz might seek coalition with far-right Freedom Party to secure majority in parliament.
The conservative Austrian People's Party (OVP) won Sunday’s parliamentary election, but fell short of an absolute majority in parliament, according to official results announced Thursday.
Austria’s Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka announced the official election results in a news conference held in ministry.
Led by 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz, the center-right OVP won a clear victory over their rival Social Democrats, capturing 31.6 percent of the vote, up from 24 percent four years ago.
Chancellor Christian Kern’s Social Democratic Party (SPO) managed to secure second place after a neck-and-neck race with the far-right Freedom Party, or FPO.
The official results showed the SPO at 26.9 percent, while the FPO got 26 percent, paving the way for a right-wing coalition government in the country.
Sobotka noted that The New Austria and Liberal Forum (NEOS) ranked fourth with 5.3 percentage of the vote, while Pilz List, running for the first time in the elections, captured 4.4 percentage.
Interior Minister also said the Greens was out of parliament with 3.8 percentage of vote due to election threshold of 4 percentage.
Meanwhile, President Alexander Van der Bellen will give Sebastian Kurz the authority to form the government on Friday, he said in his twitter account.
Kurz said on Sunday night that he was open to talks with all parties that entered parliament on forming a coalition government.
He did not rule out a coalition with the far-right FPO, which used anti-immigrant and especially anti-Muslim rhetoric during the election campaign.
An ORF opinion poll said 40 percent of OVP voters favor a coalition government with the FPO, while only 18 percent support a coalition with the Social Democrats.
Kurz and his Austrian People's Party also took a harsher tone on issues related to migration and Islam during the campaign, sparking criticisms that the OVP was drifting into right-wing populism in the hope of attracting far-right voters.