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Why the Austrian election results are far from a death knoll for the far-right

The poor results for the Freedom Party distract from the fact that right-wing rhetoric has entered the Austrian political mainstream

By Gabriel Byng  

A Jörg Haider poster in rural Austria, 2013. Photo: Flickr/Ken Mayer, lisenced under Creative Commons

Graffiti, like any commodity, is not distributed equally and in Vienna, the election posters of the far-right Freedom Party—the FPÖ—have had a near-monopoly. During the election campaign, it became increasingly difficult to find an unblemished picture of the party’s new leader, Norbert Hofer, or his parliamentary leader, Herbert Kickl.

Their posters’ tattered edges showed scraps of Hofer’s spiffy suits, checked ties and pocket squares, and cheery smile. Beneath inked-on moustaches or devil horns, Kickl…

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