Van der Bellen weak with the boys

WIEN Incumbent Van der Bellen had a clear victory against six competitors on Sunday. Extrapolations put him at 56 percent, Rosencrantz at around 18 percent. The final result, including the more than 800,000 postal votes, should be available on Monday evening. Voter turnout was estimated at 65 percent.

Since the 78-year-old achieved an absolute majority in the first ballot, a runoff between the top two is no longer necessary. The former leader of the Greens will be sworn in again as Austria’s head of state on January 26, 2023. His term of office is six years.

Speaking to his jubilant supporters on Sunday night, Van der Bellen pointed out that the election had been closely watched across the borders. “This electoral success is also very, very well perceived by all of us at European level,” said the 78-year-old. While Van der Bellen is a big supporter of the EU, opponent Rosenkranz, like the FPÖ, generally took extremely skeptical positions. Rosencrantz campaigned for an end to EU sanctions against Russia.

The counting of postal votes is only relevant for the race for third place. The head of the left-wing beer party, Dominik Wlazny, and the right-wing conservative columnist Tassilo Wallentin were each around 8 percent on Sunday evening. The right-wing blogger Gerald Grosz got 6 percent on election night, the candidate of the anti-vaccination party MFG, Michael Brunner, 2.2 percent. The left-alternative shoe manufacturer Heinrich Staudinger achieved 1.6 percent of the vote.

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