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Austria election: 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz tipped as next leader

Austria election: 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz tipped as next leader
From BBC - October 14, 2017

Austrians are voting in a general election in which the frontrunner, conservative party leader and current foreign minister Sebastian Kurz, is just 31 years old.

According to opinion polls, the far-right Freedom Party (FP) and the Social Democrats are competing for second place.

The FP is thought to have its best chance in years of joining the next coalition government and immigration has been a dominant issue in the campaign.

The party narrowly missed out on the presidency last year.

Norbert Hofer was defeated in December 2016 when Alexander Van der Bellen, the head of the Greens, won with about 53% of the votes.

Mr Hofer had campaigned on an anti-immigration platform, amid anxiety in Europe following a huge influx of migrants and refugees in 2015.

Mr Kurz has reinvented the conservative People's Party (VP) since becoming leader in May, moving it rightward with promises to shut down migrant routes to Europe and cap benefit payments to refugees at a low level.

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