VIENNA, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Austrian grand coalition partner the Social Democrats appears to be struggling to gain traction in the election race in part due to a campaigning scandal, new polling indicated.
The poll conducted by the Linz-based Market Institute on behalf of Der Standard newspaper showed that support for the Social Democrats headed by Chancellor Christian Kern totals only 23 percent.
A further 72 percent of the 800 survey respondents believed the party would be the biggest loser in next Sunday's election.
The poll was conducted after the the media unveiled a campaigning scandal, in which a former party advisor was accused of engaging in untoward campaigning.
Meanwhile, the center-right People's Party led by Sebastian Kurz has maintained its status as favorite to top the vote, as 33 percent of respondents declaring their support, and 74 percent believing Kurz will see victory.
The rightwing Freedom Party also edged the Social Democrats out slightly, with 25 percent of respondents declaring their support, though the institute noted this slight lead could easily change.