In another stunning defeat for Europe's establishment, as previewed earlier this morning Austria's 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz is assured victory in the Austrian National Council elections, becoming Chancellor with his center-right People's Party set to take roughly 30.2% of the vote - the best result in almost two decades - according to exit polls by Austrian broadcaster ORF, while just as shocking is that the anti-immigrant, nationalist Freedom Party appears set to top the Social Democrats in 2nd place with 26.8% of the vote: the two parties are expected to form a coalition government. If confirmed out by final results, that would be its strongest performance for the Freedom Party since the 26.9% it won in 1999 when the party was led by the charismatic Jorg Haider. Meanwhile, Chancellor Christian Kern's Social Democrats are looking at another devastating - for Europe's establishment - loss, sliding to 3rd spot with just 26.3% of the vote.
The full breakdown from the initial exit polls vs the last election results in 2013:
- People’s Party (Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz) 30.5% vs 24%
- Freedom Party (Heinz-Christian Strache) 26.8% vs 20.5%
- Social Democrats (Chancellor Christian Kern) 26.2% vs 26.8% in 2013
- Neos (Matthias Strolz) 5.3% vs 5%
- Greens (Ulrike Lunacek) 4.7% vs 12.4%
- Liste Pilz (Peter Pilz) 4.3% (didn’t run in 2013)
The preliminary geographic breakdown of Sunday's election shows that most constituencies voted for the People's Party:
It remains to be seen if and how Kurz will form a coalition with the anti-immigrant Freedom Party - a historic outcome for the nationalist party which could enter government for the first time in history - however one thing is clear: just like in Germany, where Merkel's CDU/CSU suffered its worst result since 1949, so in Austria the "establishment" SPÖ, or Social Democrat party just suffered what Europe Elects described as the "worst result since Hitler rule."
We now await the market's reaction to the news that Europe's populist anti-establishment, anti-immigrant revolt, considered to have been dead and buried following the French elections, was not only revived after last month's German election, but is once again thriving.