Chancellor Franz Vranitzky remains in position Monday to rebuild his broad coalition government, but a charismatic populist campaigning on a nationalist platform scored big gains in national elections.

The popular, charismatic Vranitzky defied predictions of large losses for his Socialist Party in Sunday's vote. But his conservative partner, the People's Party, suffered the worst electoral setback of its 45-year history.Joerg Haider's populist Freedom Party nearly doubled its parliamentary representation on the strength of his appeals to nationalist sentiments.