What makes this year’s EU elections so remarkable for Austria?

The EU election results in Austria can only and have to be analyzed in light of the most recent political events on the ground, where the “Ibiza scandal” has undermined trust in democracy in general and turned the Austrian political landscape upside down.
A video was leaked, showing the former Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache (FPÖ) and the former Chairman of the Parliamentary Group of the Freedom Party Johann Gudenus in a meeting with the niece of an alleged Russian oligarch in Ibiza in July 2017 offering Austrian contracts and assets in return for campaign support.

The leaked recordings triggered a chain reaction leading to the end of the coalition government between the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), the announcement of snap elections in fall 2019 as well as the end of the current government including Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) after losing a no-confidence vote in the parliamentary session on Monday after the EU elections. Speculations on the impact of “Ibiza gate” on the EU elections were fierce and its results heavily anticipated in Austria.
Taking a look at the latter illustrates a number of remarkable aspects of Austria’s EU election results.


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