Austria's election: What you need to know

Austria's Foreign Minister, Sebastian Kurz, is in the running to become the country's youngest Chancellor.

(CNN)Voters in Austria are casting their ballots in a snap election that could put young conservative Sebastian Kurz at the helm of the nation in a coalition with the country's far right.

The Sunday vote is being widely watched across Europe, where populist far-right parties are on the rise and are shifting political landscapes.
Here's what you need to know.

    Who are the main players?

    Kurz, 31, is Austria's foreign minister and has led the conservative People's Party (OVP) since May. He is expected to become the new Chancellor -- and the country's youngest-ever leader.
    But that isn't an absolute given. Should his party win the most seats, Kurz is likely to depend on forming an alliance, and the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) is most likely to find itself in the position of kingmaker.
    Unlike Germany's far-right AfD party -- which won its first seats in the Bundestag in the federal elections there last month -- the FPO has a long history in Austria's Parliament and was part of a coalition government between 2000 and 2005.
    Kurz's People's Party had been in a ruling coalition with Chancellor Christian Kern's Social Democrats (SPO), but that partnership collapsed in May.
    Kurz called the snap election after the OVP's former leader and Austria's vice-chancellor, Reinhold Mitterlehner, resigned from both posts, saying the government was riven by infighting.
    Christian Kern has been Austria's Chancellor since May 2016.
    The FPO is headed up by Heinz Christian-Strache, who has called for "minus migration" and a ban on "fascistic Islam."

    Didn't Austria have elections recently?

    Yes -- Austrians went to the polls three times in 2016 to elect a new president. The first round of voting in April narrowed the field to two candidates, but the first attempt at the second round was annulled after the losing candidate -- the Freedom Party's Norbert Hofer -- challenged the close result.
    A rerun in December ended with the same result -- and a larger majority for Hofer's left-wing rival, Alexander Van der Bellen, who described his win as a victory for "freedom, equality and solidarity."
    Supporters of Alexander Van der Bellen, now Austria's president, celebrate the result of the re-run election in December 2016.