Presidential election

Vienna, Austria – December 4, 2016

The far right is ahead in Austria's presidential race, according to opinion polls which predict a win for the anti-immigration candidate that would be a watershed for populists across Europe who have capitalized on the migration crisis.

Ahead of the December 4 election, the Freedom Party's (FPO) Norbert Hofer is just ahead of his independent rival, Alexander Van der Bellen, who narrowly beat Hofer in a previous run-off vote in May that was annulled.

The Freedom Party challenged the previous run-off result, which showed Van der Bellen winning by 31,000 votes. A court decided the election had to be re-run due to sloppiness in the count, although no evidence of manipulation was found.

Although Austria's president plays a largely ceremonial role, he can dismiss the cabinet.

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