Conservative leader Sebastian Kurz's party is on course to win snap parliamentary election and has several options for a coalition partner that will give it a stable majority, a projection based on a partial vote count shows.

Supporters of Austrian Peoples Party (OeVP) Sebastian Kurz react after the close of the polling stations in Vienna, Austria September 29, 2019.
Supporters of Austrian Peoples Party (OeVP) Sebastian Kurz react after the close of the polling stations in Vienna, Austria September 29, 2019. (Reuters)

Austria's 33-year-old former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz was on course to win snap elections on Sunday despite a scandal which engulfed his previous far-right allies, projections showed.

Kurz's centre-right People's Party (OeVP) took 37 percent of the vote, according to first projections.

His erstwhile coalition partners, the scandal-hit far-right Freedom Party (FPOe), meanwhile, dropped from almost 26 percent at the last election to around 16 percent.

TRT World's Yunus Paksoy explains.

The election was triggered by a corruption scandal which engulfed the FPOe in May and brought down the OeVP-FPOe coalition. 

The centre-left Social Democrats look set for their worst-ever result on around 22 percent of the vote.

The Greens are the other big winners, reversing a disastrous performance in 2017 which saw them fail to enter parliament to win at least 13 percent this time around, which would be their best-ever score.

The small liberal NEOS party scored around seven percent.

'Preparing for opposition'

FPOe leader said that it was "preparing for opposition" after the party dropped 10 percent in snap elections.

FPOe leader Norbert Hofer told Austria media that he believed the result meant the party would not take part in coalition talks, adding: "That means we are preparing for opposition."

'Radical change'

Leader of Greens said his party would only consider governing with conservative Kurz after elections if there was a "radical change" of direction compared to his previous coalition with the far-right.

"There must be a radical change from the policies" of the government Kurz led until May, Green leader Werner Kogler told Austrian television. 

"We need a sign of an about-turn."

Corruption scandal

Voting started at 7 am local time (0500GMT) and finished at 5 pm (1500GMT). 

The elections will designate Austria's 33rd government with 1,476 parliamentary candidates, including 27 of Turkish-origin. 

The decision for snap polls came after the collapse of a 17-month far-right coalition this May after then-Vice Chancellor and Freedom Party head Heinz Christian Strache stepped down due to a corruption scandal revealed through video footage. 

For almost four months, the country has been ruled by former Constitutional Court head Brigitte Bierlein –– appointed chancellor by President Alexander Van der Bellen –– and the interim government she formed with high-level bureaucrats. 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies