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Communists big winners in city election in Austria

Communists are celebrating after notching up a massive increase in their share of the vote in district elections the southern city of Graz.

Both the greens, the conservative ÖVP and the left leaning SPÖ saw massive losses balanced against a clear increase in the share of the vote held by the Communist KPÖ.

The votes also meant that the Pirate party were able to have one of their politicians elected. Although postal votes need to be counted they are not expected to change the result.

With most of the votes counted the result sees the ÖVP with 33.48 per cent, a decline of 4.89, the KPÖ second with 20.08 per cent, an increase of 8.9 per cent, the SPÖ with 15.32 per cent, a fall of 4.42 per cent, the FPÖ at 13.93 per cent, an increase of 3.08 per cent,a nd the Greens on 11.99 per cent, a fall of 2.57 per cent. The BZÖ only managed 1.35 per cent, a fall of 2.96 per cent, and the pirates who got 2.68 because of the low turnout will now move into the local council.

In future the ÖVP will have 17 councillors, the Greens 6, the FPÖ 7, the KPÖ 10, the SPÖ 7, and the BZÖ loses their representation with their place taken by a pirate.

Voter turnout was again low with just 52.76 per cent taking part.

Vote expert Peter Filzmaier said the result was a clear rejection of the current mayor of Graz Nagl (ÖVP) and a massive vote of confidence in Elke Kahr (KPÖ).

He said that the way the votes have been cast makes it difficult to imagine how a local government can be formed and added that a new vote was possible.

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