Austria’s far-right neck-and-neck in ‘election thriller’

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VIENNA: Austria and the European Union were on tenterhooks on Monday as they waited to see whether Norbert Hofer had won a election runoff to become the bloc’s first president from the anti-immigrant far-right. Projected results late on Sunday put both Hofer, presented as the friendly and moderate face of the populist Freedom Party (FPOe), and Alexander van der Bellen, former head of the Greens, neck-and-neck on 50 percent. The final result will hinge on the large number of postal votes — almost 900,000, a record 14 percent of Austria’s 6.4 million eligible voters — which will be added to the totals on Monday. Mirroring similar trends right across Europe and beyond — as seen with the popularity of Donald Trump across the Atlantic — voters in Austria are becoming increasingly disillusioned with mainstream parties.

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AFP

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