Politico.eu's June 6 2023 Watch out Ukraine, here comes the Hungaro-Austrian Empire begins:
VIENNA — Austrian politician Herbert Kickl is a pro-Russian, anti-American conspiracy theorist who champions horse dewormer as a remedy for COVID-19 and wants to turn the Alpine country into a “fortress” against migration.
He’s also the odds-on favorite to become his country’s next leader and Europe’s next big headache.
but later says:
Kickl is far from a shoo in. Thanks to his abrasive style, his personal approval rating is among the lowest of any Austrian politician’s.
What’s more, support for the Freedom Party has proved volatile in the past and this latest spurt is likely driven more by frustration with what many Austrians see as the dysfunction of the current government than hopes for renewal under the far right.
My take so far on the article is that it's goal is to make readers aware of some of the geopolitical implications of a win by the Freedom party, and to elude to the state of opinion polling for the next Austrian legislative election rather than to make a prediction of the outcome of the Next Austrian legislative election:
Legislative elections will be held in Austria by autumn 2024 to elect the 28th National Council, the lower house of Austria's bicameral parliament.
I'm most familiar with the US system of government a "2.1 party system", and parliamentary systems with n >> 2 parties confuse me.
Is the article suggesting that while Kickl the individual may not be popular, a Freedom party win above some threshold would de facto make Kickl the leader of the country?
One might naively think that the Freedom party would simply find a more popular leader to move forward and improve its chances - what am I missing?
Question: How can Herbert Kickl be "the odds-on favorite" with a "personal approval rating.. among the lowest of any Austrian politician’s"?
"bonus points" for some insight into why the Freedom party wouldn't simply find a more popular leader to move forward and improve its chances further.