News & Politics

'Far-Right' Anti-Immigration Candidate Leads in First Round of Austrian Elections

"Your homeland needs you now." (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

Well, well, well:

Austria’s far right made big wins in the latest round of voting in the country’s presidential election. Norbert Hofer, candidate of the anti-immigration Freedom Party (FPOe), took home almost 37 percent of the vote out of five candidates in Sunday’s polls.

The election will now go to a runoff that will take place on May 22, when Hofer will face either Green Party candidate Alexander Van der Bellen, who gained 19.7 percent of the vote this round, or independent candidate Irmgard Griss, who won 18.8 percent. For an all-out win a candidate must obtain more than 50 percent of votes to become the country’s head of state, which is a largely ceremonial role.

But the results do reflect Austrians’ frustration with their leaders’ response to Europe’s refugee crisis, and mean that, for the first time since 1945, Austria will not have a president from either the center-left Social Democrats or the center-right People’s Party. Hofer sailed past the candidates from those two parties — the Social Democrats and the People’s Party – who gained only 11.2 percent of the vote each.

Sunday’s results were the biggest victory that Hofer’s Freedom Party has seen since the party’s inception after World War II.

Angela Merkel’s chickens — which she generously distributed up and down the European continent in her suicidal attempt to change the very nature of Europe itself — are coming home to roost.

Hofer, who says he almost always packs a Glock in order to protect himself from refugees, is considered by German media to be the friendlier face of the Freedom Party over its more aggressive leader, Heinz-Christian Strache.

Still, Hofer says Austria should leave the EU, wants to deport all foreigners, and wants to ban women from wearing head scarves.

But this ought to be a warning shot to other western-European nations to distance themselves from Germany as quickly as possible, and to defend their borders diligently.

And if so doing brings down the EU along the way, well, tant pis as the French say.