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Federal presidential election 2016

At the federal presidential election of 24 April 2016, the FPÖ’s candidate was Norbert Hofer. He topped the ballot, achieving first place with 35.05 per cent of the vote.

At the subsequent run-off election, Hofer was narrowly defeated by his rival, Alexander van der Bellen. This election was annulled due to irregularities in the counting of postal ballots and was repeated in December 2016. Hofer was again narrowly defeated and van der Bellen was elected as the new Federal President.

Brief description of the election campaign and its outcome

In 2015, after the consequences of mass immigration connected to the so-called refugee crisis had obviously led to social and security problems, the Freedom Party, as a reform-oriented patriotic force with an anti-immigration stance, gained increasing support among the population and was also able to make strong gains in various provincial elections in autumn 2015. In January 2016, Norbert Hofer, the Third President of the National Council, was nominated by the Freedom Party as its candidate for election as federal president. He was subsequently able to convince around one and a half million Austrians of his merits in the first round of the election, and thus entered the run-off election in first place.

Behind him was Alexander van der Bellen, on about 21 per cent of the vote, while the candidates of the ÖVP and SPÖ were each able to secure merely about 11 per cent of the vote.

Hofer was defeated in the first run-off election, which was annulled due to irregularities in the counting of postal votes. When the election was re-run, in December 2016, Alexander van der Bellen came first for a second time and was thus elected Federal President.

The election campaign thus lasted almost a year. Norbert Hofer achieved around 2.2 million votes, the historically highest election result of any Freedom Party candidate.

The election campaign was led by FPÖ Secretary General Herbert Kickl. The following is a selection of the advertising slogans on Hofer's posters:

„In Eurem Sinne entscheiden“ (“Deciding in your interests“)

„Deine Heimat braucht Dich jetzt“ (“Your homeland needs you now“)

„Stimme der Vernunft“ (“Voice of reason“)

„Österreich braucht Sicherheit“ (“Austria needs security“)

„Macht braucht Kontrolle“ (“Power needs control“)

„Das Recht geht vom Volk aus“ (“Law stems from the people“)

„Für Österreich mit Herz und Seele“ (“For Austria, with heart and soul”)

24.04.2016

Election of the Austrian Federal President – First Ballot

Norbert Hofer (FPÖ)

1,499,971 Votes

35.05 per cent

Alexander Van der Bellen (Grüne)

913,218 Votes

21.34 per cent

Irmgard Griss

810,641 Votes

18.94 per cent

Rudolf Hundstorfer

482,790 Votes

11.28 per cent

Andreas Kohl

475,767 Votes

11.12 per cent

Richard Lugner

96,783 Votes

2.26 per cent

22.05.2016

Election of the Austrian Federal President – Run-off election (Repealed by the Federal Constitutional Court)

Norbert Hofer (FPÖ)

2,220,654 Votes

49.65 per cent

Alexander Van der Bellen (Grüne)

2,251,517 Votes

50.35 per cent

04.12.2016

Election of the Austrian Federal President – -Repeated run-off election

Norbert Hofer (FPÖ)

2,124,661 Votes

46.21 per cent

Alexander Van der Bellen (Grüne)

2,472,892 Votes

53.79 per cent

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