Austria’s ruling coalition parties each won elections in two provinces, while candidates representing billionaire Frank Stronach’s group appeared likely to enter regional parliaments.
The conservative People’s Party got 55 percent of the vote today in Lower Austria, the country’s second-most populous province surrounding Vienna, according to the government’s website. The Social Democratic Party won in the southern-most province of Carinthia for first time in 24 years, beating the nationalist Freedom Party, the Austrian Press Agency reported.
Today’s results may be a bellwether for national legislative elections in September. Social Democratic Chancellor Werner Faymann currently leads the coalition government formed with the People’s Party.
Stronach’s Team Stronach won about 9 percent of the vote in each province, ensuring that his party will be able to obtain seats in regional assemblies. Stronach, who amassed his wealth at Magna International Inc. (MG), North America’s biggest car-parts maker, has called for government austerity and currency reform.
Austria’s anti-immigrant nationalists lost support in both elections, according to early results.
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