Austrian Presidential candidate Alexander Van der Bellen celebrates with supporters at a post-election event in Vienna on Dec. 4, 2016. / AFP / Alex Halada
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Austria's voters have resoundingly rejected anti-immigration and euroskeptic Norbert Hofer's bid to become the European Union's first far-right president, a result greeted with relief from centrist politicians across the continent.The official result of what has been an ugly and polarizing election in normally peaceable Austria, lasting 11 months, was not expected until Monday. But Sunday an "incredibly sad" Hofer conceded defeat.Establishment politicians in Austria and Europe had been nervous about a possible Hofer victory in a year that has seen two monumental political upsets already: Donald Trump winning the U.S. presidential election and Britain deciding to leave the EU.The relief across Europe was palpable on Sunday evening, with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier calling the outcome a "good omen against populism in Europe".At Van der Bellen's election party his supporters were pleasantly surprised, many having thought that Trump and Brexit would boost Hofer's chances and fearing voter fatigue.
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