- Title: Freedom Party leader Norbert Hofer casts his ballot in Austrian snap election
- Date: 29th September 2019
- Summary: PINKAFELD, AUSTRIA (SEPTEMBER 29, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF FREEDOM PARTY LEADER NORBERT HOFER ARRIVING AND WALKING INTO POLLING STATION TO CAST HIS BALLOT HOFER WALKING OUT OF POLLING STATION (SOUNDBITE) (German) FREEDOM PARTY LEADER NORBERT HOFER, SAYING: "For us of course this is a very exciting day, because after these difficult months, weeks and days the starting point is a real challenge. It is very difficult to say how this will turn out. For us it is important to get a solid basis after the election to be able to resurge as FPO and in the government. This is what counts at the end of the day." POLICEMEN TALKING ON PHONE (SOUNDBITE) (German) FREEDOM PARTY LEADER NORBERT HOFER, SAYING: "I think that in general the 'Ibiza-scandal' and afterwards the question of party expenses will be an obstacle for the election result, but I am used to carrying some burden around with me." CAMERA (SOUNDBITE) (English) FREEDOM PARTY LEADER NORBERT HOFER, SAYING: "It's a very interesting day for us today, because we have very important elections in Austria. I hope that we can reach a basis to rebuild our freedom party again and we will see today if this was possible or not." POLICEMEN STANDING NEAR POLLING STATION HOFER LEAVING
- Embargoed: 13th October 2019 10:16
- Keywords: Freedom Party snap elections polling station voting Norbert Hofer
- Location: PINKAFELD, AUSTRIA
- City: PINKAFELD, AUSTRIA
- Country: Austria
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA001AYPLOHZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Austrian Freedom Party leader Norbert Hofer arrived at the polling station in the town of Pinkafeld on Sunday (September 29) to cast his ballot in a snap parliamentary election that conservative leader Sebastian Kurz looks set to win, but where Kurz will likely still need a coalition partner to secure a majority.
Polling stations in Austria opened at 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) and the first projections are due shortly after voting ends at 5 p.m.
The election follows the collapse in May of Kurz's coalition with the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) after a video sting scandal that forced FPO Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache to step down.
Hofer told reporters that it was difficult to predict how the election would turn out, but that he was hopeful that his party would get a solid result, so that it could resurge and possibly become coalition party to Kurz' People's Party again.
Kurz, 33, has emerged largely unscathed from the scandal, even gaining voters from the FPO as its support has slipped to roughly a fifth of the electorate from just over a quarter in the last vote in 2017. On the left, there has been some shift in support from the Social Democrats to the resurgent Greens.
Kurz has said he will talk to all parties after the election if he wins. His two most likely options are either to ally with the FPO again or with the Greens and liberal Neos. A centrist coalition with the Social Democrats is possible but unlikely under their current leadership.
(Production: Branko Filipovic, Ulrike Heil)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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