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Vaccine sceptics pull off surprise performance in Austrian state poll

A party made up of coronavirus vaccine sceptics has made it into the regional parliament in the state of Upper Austria on its very first try, according to first projections on Sunday evening.

A party made up of coronavirus vaccine sceptics has made it into the regional parliament in the state of Upper Austria on its very first try, according to first projections on Sunday evening.

The People-Freedom-Fundamental Rights list (MFG) is set to garner 6.2 per cent of the vote, above over the hurdle to enter parliament, according to projections by broadcaster ORF after a large number of the votes had been counted.

The party was founded in Vienna in February and has brought several constitutional complaints against coronavirus measures.

According to projections, the conservative Austrian People’s Party (OeVP) will keep first place with about 37.6 per cent, roughly the same results it saw in 2015.

In contrast, the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) had to accept heavy losses. Six years ago, 30.36 per cent voted for the party; on Sunday, it was only 19.8 per cent – a drop of more than 10 per cent.

A total of 1.1 million people were eligible to vote.

There was another surprise performance at the local council election in the city of Graz on Sunday as well: The communist KPOe party took first place from the FPOe, according to preliminary results.

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