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Austrians await general election poll results

Austrians have been to the polls in general elections that will likely see the centrist grand coalition remain in power. But the two coalition parties look set to receive their worst-ever election result.

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Austria goes to the polls

Some 6.4 million people were called upon to vote in the elections, with anyone aged 16 and over eligible to cast a ballot.

The two main contenders are the Social Democrats (SPÖ) under Chancellor Werner Faymann and the conservative People's Party (ÖVP), who have shared power since 2008. The parties have dominated Austrian politics since 1945 either individually or together.

However, recent opinion polls have shown flagging support for both parties, with the SPÖ at around 27-26 per cent and the ÖVP at 22-25 per cent. A corresponding result in Sunday's election would see the coalition needing a third party to obtain a majority in parliament.

In the last general election in 2008, the SPÖ won 29.3 per cent of votes, followed by the ÖVP on 26 percent.

Some voters have been drawn away to the far-right Freedom Party, which seems likely to garner some 20 per cent of the vote, and the pro-environment Greens. Some smaller groups have also recently entered the scene, such as The New Austria (NEOS) and Team Stronach.

Polls closed at 5:00 p.m. local time (1500 UTC), with first results expected shortly afterwards.

tj,rc/jm (AFP, dpa)

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