Austria set for snap election

Austria's coalition government, led by Chancellor Christian Kern, had been expected to govern until 2018.

Story highlights

  • Austrian voters will go to the polls on October 15
  • Elections could open the door to the far-right Freedom Party

(CNN)Austria will hold a snap parliamentary election on October 15, after the country's coalition government collapsed.

The vote, announced Tuesday, could see the far-right Freedom Party forming part of a new coalition.
Last December, Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer was narrowly defeated in the country's presidential race after campaigning on an anti-immigration platform.
That election, which had to be rerun after concerns over how some of the ballots were handled, brought about high tension throughout Austria.
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Now, 12 months after Chancellor Christian Kern, leader of the Social Democrats (SPO), was elected, Austria is facing another vote.
Kern, head of the majority party in the coalition, had made little secret of his opposition to a snap election.
But his hand was weakened when vice-chancellor and leader of the People's Party, Reinhold Mitterlehner, resigned from his role.
His replacement, 30-year-old foreign minister Sebastian Kurz, who has enjoyed a remarkable rise through the political ranks, called for a snap election.
Kurz told reporters last week he believed such a move would be "the right path," according to Reuters.
The coalition had been set to govern until 2018 but was torn apart by infighting, Mitterlehner said in his resignation announcement.
Fresh elections could open the door to the far-right Freedom Party, which was last involved in a government coalition in 1999.