From Pegida to Syriza: The rise of radical EuropeIBTimes UK

Candidates for the Austrian presidency have both secured 50% of the vote, with more than 90% of votes counted, according to AP. Norbert Hofer of the right-wing Freedom Party was initially in the lead, but his rival, independent Alexander Van der Bellen, has closed the gap.

The earlier projections by the SORA polling institute had Hofer gaining 50.2% of the vote, while his rival, Alexander Van der Bellen, was at 49.8%. The margin of error is 2%, so the final results are as yet unclear. The final results are due at the earliest on Monday, once absentee ballots will also have been accounted for.

The polls that have been published show that the result is too close to call, with a substantial amount of voters as yet undecided because they see both candidates as too extreme.

In an unprecedented move since 1945, the two candidates of the governing coalition of the Social Democratic and People's parties were knocked out in last month's first round. Previously, major cities in Austria had a history of voting for left-leaning parties.

Europe's migrant crisis has been a central issue in the electoral campaign. Around 90,000 people were seeking asylum in Austria in 2015, which is about 1% of the Austrian population. Hofer and his Freedom Party ran on an anti-immigration, anti-Islamic and Eurosceptic campaign. If Hofer won, this would be the first time a right-wing politician was in office in Austria since World War II.

However, latest reports suggest that Bellen, who is running as an independent candidate with the Green Party's backing, could be gaining on Hofer.

At a recent pre-election rally, about 500 students gathered near Vienna's Hofburg palace, where the president's office is located. One student told Deutsche Welle: "I think he's the only democratic candidate and the best alternative. He's showing responsibility for the Austrian people. He cares about Europe."

The Austrian presidency is largely ceremonial, but if Hofer wins, he has stated his plans to use the powers of office to their fullest extent. He has also pledged to attend EU meetings and refuses to sign the controversial transatlantic TTIP trade deal with the US which he says impacts negatively on Austrian sovereignty.