LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Left-Leaning Candidate Wins Austria's Presidential Election — Barely

Alexander Van der Bellen, who was backed by the Green Party, celebrates during an election party Sunday in Vienna.

A left-leaning, Green Party-backed candidate has won Austria's presidential election, edging out an anti-immigrant populist by just 0.6 percent of the vote.

Alexander Van der Bellen, a retired economics professor, had 50.3 percent of the vote, according to The Associated Press. His rival, Norbert Hofer of the far-right Freedom Party, had 49.7 percent.

A mere 31,000 votes — out of more than 4.6 million — separated the two candidates.

Joanna Kakissis, reporting for NPR from Vienna, described der Bellen as a 72-year-old, chain-smoking economist.

The man he defeated, 45-year-old Hofer, is a polarizing figure, as Joanna explains:

"Hofer, who trained as an airplane mechanic, talked tough on migrants — especially Muslims. His party's anti-migrant message struck a chord with Austrians.

"Many are concerned that this small country of fewer than 9 million cannot support the 90,000 asylum-seekers who arrived last year.

"Had Hofer won, he would have been the first elected head of state from a far-right party in the European Union."

Even though Hofer lost, the narrow margin was, for many, a sign of the popularity of far-right movements in Europe.

Hofer looked ahead in a Facebook post thanking his supporters.

He said their work during the campaign was "not lost but an investment in the future," according to a translation by The Associated Press.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)