Austria Freedom Party’s Hofer Leads in Tight Race for Presidency

  • Hofer marginally ahead of Green candidate Van der Bellen
  • Result is within margin of error; votes still being counted

Norbert Hofer.

Photographer: Lisi Niesner/Bloomberg

Norbert Hofer, the candidate of Austria’s populist Freedom Party, is leading in the race to become the nation’s next president with an estimated 50.2 percent of the vote, according to the first prediction based on early results published by public broadcaster ORF.

Green Party-backed Alexander Van der Bellen was predicted to get 49.8 percent of the vote after Sunday’s runoff election, with 58 percent of the votes counted. The projection has an error margin of 2 percent, according to pollster SORA.

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