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Austrian candidates split country down middle

  • ITV News Report by Europe Editor James Mates

The two Austrian candidates vying for presidency have split the country exactly in half, according to voting projections.

Most of the votes have been counted, and the projection made by the state broadcaster has the two candidates at 50% and 50% in what has been called a statistical dead heat.

Postal votes are yet to be counted, however, and the new president is now expected to be announced on Monday.

Preliminary election results show far-right candidate Hofer in lead

Alexander Van Der Bellen (L) and Norbert Hofer (R) Credit: Reuters

Austria's Ministry of the Interior has announced that the preliminary result of the presidential election shows Norbert Hofer on 51.9% of the vote, ahead of Alexander Van Der Bellen on 48.1%.

Norbert Hofer is the candidate for far-right party the Freedom Party, while Van Der Bellen is an Independent candidate.

The full result will not be known until Monday as postal votes need to be counted.

Austrian election result will not be known until Monday

The result of Austria's presidential election will not be known until Monday, said far-right Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer.

"We will have to wait until tomorrow," Hofer told broadcaster ORF.

Nearly all votes that have been cast in polling stations have been counted, with two candidates in a dead heat.

Postal ballots, which will not be counted until Monday, will determine the winner of what has been the closest race in living memory.

Exit poll suggests Austrian vote too close to call

Nobert Hofer

The far-right Austrian candidate is marginally ahead in presidential vote, exit polls suggest.

The race is too close to call with Norbert Hofer on 50.2% and former Greens leader Alexander Van der Bellen on 49.8%, according to a projection by Sora, with a margin of error of two percentage points.

Migration was a key issue in the presidential campaign, highlighting how the refugee crisis is shaping the continent's politics.

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