Austrians cautious after Van der Bellen election win

After Sunday's presidential election victory for independent Alexander Van der Bellen, some Austrians are concerned that the defeated anti-immigration Freedom Party could still come to power in next year's parliamentary elections.

VIENNA, AUSTRIA (REUTERS) - After Sunday's (Dec 4) presidential election victory for independent Alexander Van der Bellen, some Austrians are concerned that the defeated anti-immigration Freedom Party could still come to power in next year's parliamentary elections.

Van der Bellen's victory over Freedom Party far-right candidate Norbert Hofer is seen as a victory over right-wing populism, following on the heels of Brexit and American president-elect Donald Trump's victory, although the role of the Austrian president is largely ceremonial.

The country remains sharply divided, with Hofer having still garnered 46 per cent of the vote. 

Van der Bellen's margin of victory - 7 per cent - was unexpectedly large. He had previously won by 1 per cent of votes cast in May, but the results were overturned and voting repeated after an investigation revealed irregularities in the count of the vote in several constituencies.