Austrian far-right leader concedes defeat in presidential election

Austrian far-right leader concedes defeat in presidential election

The right-wing candidate in Austria's presidential election has conceded defeat to his left-leaning rival.

Norbert Hofer acknowledged defeat to Alexander Van der Bellen in a Facebook post in which he also thanked his backers for their support.

Mr Hofer said he is "naturally sad", adding: "I would have been happy to have cared for our wonderful country as federal president."

He said the work of his supporters during the election is "not lost but an investment in the future".

Direct votes without the count of about 700,000 absentee ballots being counted today had given Mr Hofer 51.9% while Mr Van der Bellen, a Greens politician running as an independent, got 48.1%.

But projections yesterday that included the absentee votes had already put Mr Van der Bellen slightly ahead.

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