Early polls from Austria's election day suggest a slim lead for 31-year old conservative Sebastian Kurz who may become the next chancellor on a pledge for a hardline shift against country's intake of migrants and refugees. Matthew Larotonda reports.
Austria appears headed to propel a 31-year old conservative to the top of government, on his pledge to take the country into a more hardline stance againsts the influx of refugees and migrants. Early exit polls of Sunday's (October 15) election suggest Sebastian Kurz, will take his party into a very narrow majority -- positioning himself as the next chancellor. Currently the foreign minister, he would be one of the world's youngest leaders. Kurz has campaigned to shut down migrant routes into Europe - after Austria's taken in hundreds of thousands of people -- many fleeing war and poverty. They account for roughly 1 percent of Austria's population - one of the highest ratios on the continent. Many of Kurz's supporters believe the country's been overrun. He also wants to clamp down on benefits for those already inside the country. Kurz's rise would overthrow the left-leaning incumbent chancellor, Christian Kern. Kern's Social Democrats and Kurz's People's Party used to be allies, and the two have dominated Austrian politics for decades. But the new conservative majority is projected to be thin, so Kurtz might turn to the far-right Freedom Party for a new coalition - making them potential kingmakers. The migrant crisis has contributed to a trend of increasing influence for the far-right across Europe.