President Van der Bellen, who campaigned on a slogan of ‘readability’, is extensively tipped to seize a second mandate.

Austrians have began voting in a presidential election anticipated to return incumbent Alexander Van der Bellen, after a marketing campaign through which he has solid himself because the secure possibility in unsure occasions.

Campaigning on a slogan of “readability”, Van der Bellen is extensively tipped to clinch a second mandate, along with his six different, all male, challengers lagging far behind.

“The most important competitor on Sunday would be the couch,” the 78-year-old economics professor mentioned on Friday at his final marketing campaign rally, interesting to folks to vote.

Polls put the pro-European liberal as securing greater than 50 p.c of the vote, thus avoiding a run-off.

Some 6.4 million persons are eligible to solid their ballots from the nation’s complete inhabitants of 9 million.

Polling stations in Vienna and far of the remainder of the nation opened at 7am (05:00 GMT) with a couple of opening as early as 6am.

They shut at 5pm (15:00 GMT), with early projections printed as soon as they shut.

The previous Greens chief is operating once more as an unbiased, with posters proclaiming him “the secure selection in stormy occasions” because the ripple results of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushes up inflation all through Europe.

He has the express or implicit backing of Austria’s main events aside from the far-right Freedom Celebration (FPOe), which has fielded its personal candidate, Walter Rosenkranz, who’s sitting in second place within the polls at 15 p.c.

Additionally standing for the presidency is 35-year-old punk rocker Dominik Wlazny, founding father of the Beer Celebration named for its advocacy of the favored beverage.

Oldest head of state if elected

Van der Bellen – who supporters affectionately name “the professor” – confronted an unexpectedly powerful struggle in 2016, solely successful the race in a run-off in opposition to an FPOe politician.

Nevertheless, the FPOe’s rankings have plummeted since 2019 after a corruption scandal introduced down the federal government they have been a part of and ultimately led to the resignation of then-chancellor Sebastian Kurz himself in 2021.

Recognized for his trademark professorial method, Van der Bellen will likely be Austria’s oldest head of state to be sworn in if he wins.

The presidential put up, with a time period of six years, is essentially ceremonial.

Van der Bellen – also called “Sascha”, a nickname that nods to his Russian roots – was born throughout World Warfare II in Vienna to an aristocratic Russian father and an Estonian mom who fled Stalinism.

He studied economics on the College of Innsbruck and completed his PhD in 1970 earlier than occurring to turn out to be dean of economics on the College of Vienna.

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