The far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) is celebrating significant gains according to forecast polls.

After voting concluded on Sunday evening, surveys conducted over the past week show the FPÖ comfortably in first place with 27% of the vote.

This places them ahead of the conservative People’s Party (ÖVP), which is at 23.5%, and the Social Democrats (SPÖ), at 23%.

If confirmed, this will mark the first time the FPÖ has secured first place in a nationwide election in Austria, indicating a dramatic shift in the party's fortunes.

Support for the FPÖ plummeted in 2019 following the "Ibizagate" scandal, where the former leader was filmed promising government contracts to a woman posing as the niece of a Russian oligarch.

However, the party has rebounded by tapping into voter dissatisfaction with COVID-19 measures, rising living costs, and concerns about the war in Ukraine.

The EU election is widely regarded by Austrians as a precursor to the general election this autumn, and the Freedom Party is riding high on this wave of confidence. Photo by Herzi Pinki, Wikimedia commons.