In Austria, the far right leads the race for European parliamentary elections

Austria’s far-right Freedom Party has been leading the opinion polls for over a year, hovering near 30 percent ahead of June elections for the European Parliament. It’s a rise of some 10 points from the party’s showing in the 2019 European elections, fuelling the hopes of its leader, Herbert Kickl, for a victory in Austrian legislative elections in September.

“Stop the EU madness,” reads a slogan on a far-right Freedom Party (FPO) poster for the European elections, featuring European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky embracing – and flanked by a ruinous backdrop featuring a tank, helicopters, a syringe, wind turbines and a migrant boat.

Now polling near 30 percent, the FPO is poised to win the most votes when Austrians cast their ballots to choose their representatives for the European Parliament on June 9.

The far-right party also has a big advantage on social media. Harald Vilimsky, head of the FPO party’s list for the European elections, has four times the following of rivals Helmut Brandstatter of the New Austria and Liberal Forum (NEOS) party or Lena Schilling of the Greens, according to the Austrian news agency APA.

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