In Austria, ballot boxes for the parliamentary elections were opened on Sunday morning at 7 a.m. 33-year-old conservative Sebastian Kurz from the ÖVP leads the polls.

In the most recent polls, Kurz's party rose to 35 percent of the vote. The second party in the polls, the socialist SPÖ, stands at 23 percent. The right-wing party FPÖ currently stands at 20 percent.

The former Chancellor of Austria Kurz was elected two years ago. At the time, he pursued a strict immigration policy and formed a coalition with the FPÖ.

Kurz was forced to resign in May following a vote of no confidence. His position was no longer tenable because of the aftermath of the so-called "Ibiza scandal."

Strache seemed to promise political favors in exchange for support

The scandal revolved around FPÖ leader and vice chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, who was filmed for hours unknowingly while on the Spanish island of Ibiza meeting a woman posing as the niece of a Russian oligarch. The FPÖ politician seemed to promise her political favors in exchange for support.

Kurz dissolved the government after the images were released. Shortly thereafter he launched new elections.

His two-year period as Austria's youngest Federal Chancellor ever ended. Kurz was 31 years old when he was elected in 2017.

The polling stations in Austria are open on Sunday until 5 p.m. An exit poll is expected later on Sunday evening.


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