Saturday, July 30, 2016

Austrian anti-migrant group leads first election poll as anger at open borders increases

(Daily Express) Eurosceptic Norbert Hofer has been given another chance to become the first far-right head of state in the EU after losing out in May by just 31,000 votes.

According to early opinion polls Mr Hofer has a four per cent lead over main rival Alexander Van der Bellen.

Mr Hofer received the support of 52 per cent of respondents to a Gallup poll and Mr Van der Bellen got 48 per cent.

The poll was carried out on behalf of Austrian tabloid Oesterreich.

Pro-European former Green Party leader Mr Van der Bellen, 72, controversially won the presidency with 50.3 per cent of the votes.

Following an investigation into voter fraud and irregularities at some of the counts and an appeal by Mr Hofer’s party, a re-election has been called for October 2.

Support for Mr Hofer, 45, and the Freedom Party has surged in the wake of the migrant crisis.

More than 100,000 refugees have arrived in Austria since last summer.

The migrant crisis divided the country and, in a major U-turn, the government, who initially backed German chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door policy, shut Austria’s borders.