An election campaign poster with Sebastian Kurz of the Peoples' Party (OeVP) is seen opposite the Parliament in Vienna, Austria, October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader
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Austria's shift to the right in parliamentary elections has paved the way for young conservative star Sebastian Kurz to become the next leader and opened a path for the resurgent far right to return to power.A coalition with the FPO is far from certain, but with Kurz's party short of a majority it is the most likely outcome.Kurz has been careful to avoid saying which coalition partner he might favor.Kurz called an end to a coalition with the Social Democrats, prompting Sunday's election, and the two sides are at loggerheads, making a tie-up with the FPO more likely.If the FPO came second, it would improve its odds of going into government with Kurz, since the Social Democrats would only consider a "coalition of losers" with the FPO if the far-right party were the junior partner.In June the Social Democrats lifted a self-imposed ban on coalitions with the FPO that had been in place for 30 years, implicitly recognizing the difficulty of forming governments without a party on course to secure more than 26 percent of Sunday's votes.
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