Austria elections: As expected, Sebastian Kurz (OVP) has won in convincing fashion, but the choice of his coalition partner has always been the real issue…but it remains a mystery today.
A Kurz-Green Coalition (perhaps with the pink Verhofstadt NEOs also) would greatly please both Germany and Brussels, while a Kurz-FPO Coalition would be Visegrad’s preference.
– Besides the OVP and Kurz, the Greens improved…”surging” to fourth place, although it must be noted that they finished behind both the Socialists and FPO, which did not have good results due to the scandal that engulfed its former leader months ago.
“It can’t be expected that 16 percent will carry much weight,” said Herbert Kickl, a Freedom Party (FPO) leader who served as interior minister in the previous government.
– Only about a third of all voters who supported Mr. Kurz wanted to see a return to a coalition with the FPO, but only a quarter want to see him go into power with the Greens.
Kurz largely campaigned on FPO issues, including a tough stance on migration, but few will take him seriously if he chooses the pro-migration Greens or the pink NEOs (Verhofstadt’s close allies), which will provide many obstacles to his campaign rhetoric regarding migration.
The OVP and FPO would be the logical choice given the much closer policy fit, compared to Kurz’s other choices, which both swing far left.
“Based on an analysis of key issues, there is an 80 percent convergence between the People’s Party (OVP) and the Freedom Party, while the People’s Party and the Greens only agree on about 20 percent of issues,” said Peter Filzmaier, a professor of politics at Danube University.
However, there is much tension between the OVP and FPO, and many in the media and Brussels will attack Kurz if he chooses to partner with the FPO. We are not sure if Kurz is strong enough to overcome this.
* Anything goes with Kurz, who is a very ambitious politician obsessed with power.
The V4 Report’s take: Kurz is very loyal to Merkel’s EPP Party in Brussels and has many “old guard” OVP advisors close to Berlin (OVP, including Kurz, advocated for Article7 procedures against Hungary). Kurz is also very close to Manfred Weber and Germany’s so-called “conservatives” of the CSU, the same party that in the past has indicated that it would be willing to work with Greens, liberals and socialists, but not with Matteo Salvini and others on the right.
All three groups (EPP, CSU, old OVP elites) disdain the FPO, which makes us believe that they will have enough influence to sway Kurz to partner with the Greens.
We hope to be mistaken.