Are Austria’s SocDems going far-right (far-left)?

Eastern European countries are exporting their joblessness to Austria, Chancellor Christian Kern said. He is talking also about changing course. Is his aim to attract far-right voters and could this work for Social Democrats especially in the situation when also ÖVP is shifting to the right on many issues? Read few comments.

Reinhard Heinisch, Professor of Austrian Politics in Comparative European Perspective, Department of Political Science, Chair, University of Salzburg

Yes, Kern is aiming for FPÖ voters (and others) and tries to shift the debate from an area where the SPÖ has weak cards (immigration) and is internally divided to an area where the SP has a better brand image (social policy, employment etc.). I would not quite see it the way you describe it.

The FPÖ is rightwing on identity, immigration, and culture but leftwing on labor and social policy. The government parties are both going after the FPÖ with the ÖVP shifting to the right and the SPÖ shifting to the left. This is a consequence of both parties having very few overlapping voters so it is a rational strategy.

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