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Far-right defeated in Austrian presidential poll

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Far-right defeated in Austrian presidential poll

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Heinz Fischer’s landslide victory in Austria’s weekend election is being seen as a measure of the country’s rejection of far-right sentiment.

Official results showed the veteran Social Democrat politician bagged almost 79 percent of the vote for the largely ceremonial position.

This morning’s headlines, though, focussed mainly on the turnout, low for Austria, at just over 49 percent.

Fischer was way ahead of the controversial far-right candidate Barbara Rosenkranz on 15 percent of the vote, and Rudolf Gehring of the small Christian Party on five percent.

Rosenkranz claimed she had been the victim of a witch-hunt, but many Austrians were outraged even by the 51-year-old mother of ten’s nomination.

Rosenkranz’s extreme attitudes seem to have gone against her this time.

In the past, she has come under fire for criticising Austria’s anti-Nazi laws and being vague when asked about the existence of concentration camps.