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Far-Right close to victory in Austria

Май 23, 2016    
Far-Right close to victory in Austria

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AUSTRIA looked set last night to become the first country in Europe to vote in a far-Right president.

Norbert Hofer was close to clinching victory but with a wafer-thin margin.

Freedom Party candidate Hofer, an aviation engineer, was in the lead with 51.9 per cent ahead of Alexander van der Bellen, a former Greens leader turned independent, on 48.1 per cent.

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Postal votes were expected to prove crucial, with a result not expected to be confirmed until today.

It would be the first time a far-Right head of state was elected in the European Union.

A projection by the Sora Institute think-tank for broadcaster ORF suggested a statistical dead heat.

Last night Hofer said: “We will have to wait until tomorrow.” Austria took in 90,000 asylum seekers last year, more than 1 per cent of its population.

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Hofer’s anti-immigrant, anti-austerity stance was said to be winning over the small towns and villages.

However, the balance of power would be decided in Vienna and Salzburg.

Pollster Peter Hajek said: “It will come down to Vienna. If Van der Bellen polls more than 60 per cent in Vienna he will win, if not – it’s Hofer.”

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Hofer, 45, said: “I have to work for one or two years and then everybody will see that I am OK, I am not a dangerous person.”

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