what aleksander van der bellen’s win in austria really means. spring 2016 ushered in the first round of austria’s presidential election. the FPÖ’s candidate came in a surprising first place with 35% of the vote, with the traditional so-called volks parties such as the social democratic party (SPÖ) and the people’s party (ÖPV) came in a distant 3 and 4th place with only 11% of the vote each. this ushered in a spirited second round which pitted the independent candidate aleksander van der bellen, a retired professor from vienna and former head of the green party against the right populist candidate norbert hofer, a 44 year old aeronautical engineer.
the exit polls shoe that van der bellen has won the presidential election by 53%. it is the second time he’s won. in may he won with around 30,000 votes. the FPÖ challenged the results, promoting a re-run of the election. yesterday van der bellen won by 100,000 votes.
does this mean this is the end of the right populists and norbert hofer. probably not. presently the FPÖ (freedom party) in first place at 35%. if elections were held today, the FPÖ would be in the poll position, so to speak and heinz-christian strache (aka HC) would be chancellor. austria has by law until 2018 to call elections. it remains to be seen whether or not the SPÖ can better their current 27% poll numbers.