Austria’s far-right conceded defeat on Sunday in a bitterly fought presidential race, after projections indicated its candidate was beaten by Greens-backed independent Alexander Van der Bellen.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr Van der Bellen,” Freedom Party (FPOe) chief strategist Herbert Kickl told Austrian media.

The projections put Van der Bellen on 53.6 percent ahead of the FPOe’s Norbert Hofer on 46.4 percent.

Hofer, who had been campaigning on an anti-immigrant platform, successfully challenged the May presidential election result that was narrowly won by Van der Bellen.

The EU nation’s Constitutional Court ordered a repeat election after the Freedom Party alleged that ballots were counted without proper oversight in many towns.

The election, which was planned to go ahead in October, had to be pushed back to December.

Hofer, one of the deputy presidents of Austria’s parliament, has won support from half of the voters by criticising the government for allowing 90,000 refugees and migrants to enter the country last year.

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