A right-wing populist Austrian party that critics say exploits the country's fears of mass migration is poised to wrest control of Vienna.

A win of Sunday's elections for Vienna's municipal government by the Freedom Party would end Socialist dominance of the Austrian capital since World War II. It would also position party leader Heinz-Christian Strache to bid for Austria's chancellorship in federal elections to be held within three years.

Polls showed the Socialists ahead by only a few percentage points ahead of the vote, with concerns about immigration a major issue for voters.

Voting stations opened at 0500 GMT and were to close at 1500 GMT Sunday. Full results were expected by late evening.