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Austrian centrist coalition scrapes majority: Projections

Austria`s two main centrist political parties scraped together a majority in elections on Monday, projections showed, enough for their unloved coalition to continue but with the far-right a close third.



Vienna: Austria`s two main centrist political parties scraped together a majority in elections on Monday, projections showed, enough for their unloved coalition to continue but with the far-right a close third.

In their worst result since 1945, the Social Democrats (SPOe) of Chancellor Werner Faymann won 27.1 per cent, down from 29.3 per cent at the last election in 2008.

Michael Spindelegger`s conservative People`s Party (OeVP) fell to 23.8 per cent from 26.0 per cent, according to projections based on 71 per cent of counted votes.

Heinz-Christian Strache`s anti-immigration and eurosceptic Freedom Party (FPOe) was very close behind on 21.4 per cent, up from 17.5 per cent in 2008 but short of Joerg Haider`s record 27 per cent in 1999.

Elected to parliament for the first time on 5.8 per cent is Team Stronach, formed last year when Frank Stronach, 81, founder of auto parts giant Magna, returned from Canada vowing to shake up the country of his birth.

Another new party is the liberal New Austria (NEOS), bankrolled by an industrialist and strongly pro-European, who won 4.8 per cent.

AFP

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