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Independent takes lead over far-right in Austria election

A left-leaning environmentalist candidate has a "clear lead" in Austria's presidential election, according to projections.

Alexander Van der Bellen has a 'clear lead' in the election Credit: Reuters

In a blow to his rival's bid to become Europe's first freely-elected far-right head of state since the Second World War, independent candidate Alexander Van der Bellen was ahead by several points in the SORA projection when polls closed.

If confirmed, the result will come as vindication for former Greens leader Van der Bellen, who only narrowly defeated the anti-immigration Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer in the original run in May before a re-run was ordered.

Poll company SORA, for broadcaster ORF, put Van der Bellen on 53.6 per cent and Hofer on 46.4 per cent, with a 1.2 per cent error of margin.

Another pollster, Arge, for news agency APA, reported similar predictions.

Hofer's campaign manager Herbert Kickl has already conceded defeat - slamming "the establishment".

The bottom line is it didn't quite work out. In this case the establishment - which pitched in once again to block, to stonewall and to prevent renewal - has won.

– Herbert Kickl, Freedom Party campaign manager


Austrian far-right presidential candidate poised for victory

Austria is braced for this weekend's presidential election, when Europe's first far-right leader since the Second World War could be voted into power.

Norbert Hofer goes head-to-head with opponent Alexander Van der Bellen in a re-run of the vote held on May 22.

Van der Bellen edged out the far-right Freedom Party leader by 30,000 votes seven months ago.

But then the country’s Supreme Court stepped in, decided that there had been irregularities in the way the postal votes had been opened and counted, and ordered a re-run.

Mr Hofer told ITV News his chances were "50/50" and dismissed the influence of Brexit and Trump's victory on the Austrian election.

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Man attacks train passengers with knife in Austria

The suspect is taken away by police. Credit: EBU

A man has attacked train passengers in Austria with a knife.

Two people were seriously wounded in the attack which took place near the village of Sulz, in Volrarlberg province, on Tuesday morning.

A police officer holds the knife thought to have been used in the attack. Credit: EBU

A 19-year-old man suffered wounds to his stomach and back while a 17-year-old male suffered a throat injury. Both were taken to hospital.

Police said the attacker, a 60-year old German national, was mentally confused.

He was arrested by police at the scene who used pepper spray to subdue him.

Credit: EBU

It comes after a man attacked passengers on a crowded Swiss train with a knife and burning liquid on Saturday, leaving him and one of his victims dead.

Vorarlberg police are searching for a motive but said that at this point there appeared to be no links between the two attacks.

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