According to projections by the ORF, Alexander Van der Bellen won the federal presidential election in Austria. According to the pollsters, the 78-year-old comes to 55.4 percent, the first extrapolation saw him at 54.6 percent. With this absolute majority, a run-off election is no longer necessary.
The candidate of the right-wing FPÖ, the 60-year-old Walter Rosenkranz, achieved 18.4 percent of the votes according to the extrapolation. The other five candidates are each in the single-digit percentage range.
According to pollsters, former Green Party leader Van der Bellen has been elected for a further six years. The fluctuation range of the extrapolation is too small to bring about a decisive change, it said.
Never before had so many candidates applied for the post of head of state. However, most of Van der Bellen's challengers have so far not attracted much attention in the political arena. They were considered outsiders from the start.
This was a different starting point for the 2016 election. At that time, the FPÖ candidate Norbert Hofer had clearly beaten Van der Bellen in the first ballot and was only defeated in the run-off. The election also made headlines because the second ballot had to be repeated due to irregularities in the counting on the instructions of the constitutional court.
The 78-year-old Van der Bellen sees no problem at his fairly advanced age. The office gives him strength, he said when voting on Sunday. Van der Bellen had been directly and indirectly supported by all parliamentary parties except the right-wing FPÖ.
The conservative ÖVP and the social democratic SPÖ had refrained from nominating their own candidate. The reason was that an election campaign against an incumbent is considered hopeless - and the parties preferred to save the money for it. The media criticized the fact that there were no women in the field of applicants.