Austria's FPOe Gain Momentum Under New Leader

Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) has been gaining significant momentum under its new leader, Herbert Kickl. Kickl’s virulent rhetoric and anti-jab stance have helped to rally support for the party, which is known for its opposition to migration and has capitalized on voter anxieties over the Ukraine war, inflation, and Covid-19 measures during the pandemic.

According to recent voter intention surveys, the FPOe has seen a significant increase in popularity, polling at 29 percent, up from the 16 percent won at the 2019 elections, following a corruption scandal that rocked the party four years ago. Kickl, a former interior minister, took over the party in 2021 and has made significant gains for the FPOe, with his leadership style and rhetoric typical of other prolific far-right figures.

The corruption scandal that led to the resignation of the FPOe’s previous leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, is also mentioned in the article. Despite this, the potential for the conservatives to work with the FPOe following the next elections is not excluded, with Kickl being seen as the most attractive partner to serve the interests of their constituents.

Political scientist Johannes Huber is quoted in the article, stating that he would not exclude the possibility of Kickl becoming chancellor after the next elections. This would be a significant shift in Austrian politics, as far-right parties have traditionally not held significant political power in the country.

The FPOe’s opposition to Ukraine’s EU membership aspirations and EU financial aid to Kyiv has also been a rallying cry for the party, appealing to nationalist sentiments within Austria. However, Kickl’s anti-jab stance has been controversial, with many accusing him of spreading misinformation about the safety and effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines.

Despite this, the FPOe has continued to gain support, with many voters frustrated with the current government’s handling of the pandemic and the economic fallout that has ensued. Kickl’s populist rhetoric and promises to address these issues have resonated with many voters, and it remains to be seen how much support the FPOe will ultimately gain in the next elections.

Austria’s far-right Freedom Party, under the leadership of Herbert Kickl, has gained significant momentum in recent years. With a strong anti-immigration stance, opposition to EU membership for Ukraine, and controversial anti-jab rhetoric, the party has capitalized on voter anxieties over the pandemic and economic issues. Despite previous corruption scandals, the FPOe remains a strong contender in Austrian politics, and the potential for them to work with the conservatives following the next elections is not excluded. The question now is how much support the FPOe will ultimately gain and whether Kickl could become chancellor after the next elections.