Photo Finish: Austria Presidential Election Heads to Run-Off - NBC New York
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Photo Finish: Austria Presidential Election Heads to Run-Off

Postal votes will not be counted until Monday and their exact number is not known

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    Alexander Van der Bellen candidate of the Austrian Greens, left, and Norbert Hofer, candidate for president of Austria's Freedom Party, FPOE, wait for the release of the election results during the Austria presidential elections in Vienna, Austria, May 22, 2016. Nearly final results for Austria's presidential election Sunday showed a right-wing politician neck-to-neck race with a challenger whose views stand in direct opposition to his rival's anti-immigrant and Eurosceptic message.

    Austria's presidential election was too close to call on Sunday, meaning postal ballots were set to determine whether a Eurosceptic anti-immigration candidate would become the European Union's first far-right head of state, NBC News reported.

    The direct votes gave right-winger Norbert Hofer 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent for Alexander Van der Bellen, a Greens politician running as an independent. But final projections that included still-to-be-counted absentee ballots showed a statistical dead heat of 50 percent each.

    A victory for Hofer would be a landmark triumph for resurgent populist parties across Europe that have capitalized on Europe's migration crisis and widespread dissatisfaction with traditional parties of power.

    It would be all the more remarkable for being in a prosperous country with low unemployment, where two centrist parties have dominated since it emerged shattered from World War II after its annexation by Nazi Germany in 1938.