2 small parties are ones to watch in Austrian vote
By: AP

VIENNA: Two upstart parties are the potential spoilers in Sunday’s Austrian election.

If they grab enough votes, they could topple the cozy left-center government coalition that has run Austria for most of the post-World War II period.

Most polls opened across the country at 0600 GMT (2 a.m. EDT) and will shut down at 1500 GMT (11 a.m. EDT).

The Socialists won more than 29 percent of the vote in the last elections five years ago and their coalition partner, the People’s Party, nearly 26 percent.

Their majority is threatened by two liberal parties, the BZO and Neos, if they clear the 5 percent hurdle needed to get into Parliament

The Greens, the right-wing Freedom Party and a populist party led by Austro-Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach all are expected to clear 5 percent.

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