Austria’s ruling coalition of conservatives and Greens will call the next general election on September 29, at the end of this five-year parliament, Chancellor Karl Nehammer confirmed on June 11, deferring a showdown with the far-right for as long as possible, Report informs referring to Reuters.

Polls show the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) with a clear lead over its rivals, having capitalized on the current government’s unpopularity in the wake of crises ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to inflation far above the eurozone average.

The anti-immigration FPO won the European Parliament election for the first time on Sunday, albeit by a margin of less than one percentage point over Nehammer’s People’s Party, less than polls and an election-night forecast had suggested.

“At tomorrow’s cabinet meeting, September 29 will be set as the date of the National Council elections,” Nehammer said on social media platform X, referring to the lower house.

Since they would have likely lost seats in any snap election, the conservatives and Greens were effectively condemned to work together until the end of this parliament despite clashing over key issues like immigration and repeated bouts of speculation that a snap election was imminent.