Tuesday 24 May 2016

Norbert Hofer loses Austrian presidential election by less than 1%

The leader of the Austrian Freedom Party has missed out on being elected president by less than 1% of the vote.

Norbert Hofer, who leads the right wing libertarian FPÖ, took commentators by surprise by winning the first round of voting with 35% of the vote. He was ahead of his Green opponent, Alexander Van der Bellen, until postal votes were counted which (to nobody's surprise) went in large numbers to Van der Bellen.

Van der Bellen overcame a 148,200 vote deficit in polling station votes to win by 27,600 votes leading many to make accusations of postal vote fraud.

If elected, Hofer would have been the first president in an EU country to be elected on a manifesto of controlling mass immigration and a hard line on Islamisation.