MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Hofer topped the first round of Austria's presidential election in late April, with 36 percent of the vote, followed by the Greens’ Alexander van der Bellen on 20 percent, while four other candidates lagged well behind them. The two candidates are due to face each other in a runoff on May 22.
"Of course all the other parties will rally together just for one reason: to prevent Norbert Hofer from winning. Therefore it is not certain, that he can win over van der Bellen," AfD’s Ronald Glaser predicted.
On the other hand, Glaser suggested that the bulk of Austrian People's Party (OVP) supports, whose candidate managed to secure just 11 percent in the first round, would not follow the party's wish to vote for the Green candidate "only for tactical reasons."
"Therefore Hofer has more than a theoretical chance [of winning]," the AfD representative concluded.
Prior to the first round of presidential elections, polls had the Austrian far-right politician commanding a maximum 25 percent of support with almost the same level of support for van der Bellen. Therefore, the performance put in by Hofer, the most successful result ever for a FPO candidate in a national election, came as a big surprise for many.