[Populists lost in Austria.]
Austrian voters roundly rejected on Sunday a candidate vying to become the first freely elected far-right head of state in Europe since World War Two, halting at least temporarily the wave of populism sweeping Western democracies.
The runoff vote was a litmus test, since it was a re-run of a vote held in May, before Britain voted to leave the European Union and Americans elected Donald Trump as president.
Norbert Hofer of the anti-immigration Freedom Party lost the May election by less than a percentage point, and polls had for months shown the race too close to call.
But within minutes of polls closing it was clear he had lost to former Greens leader Alexander Van der Bellen,
[Populists won in Italy.]
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said he would resign following a stinging defeat on Sunday in a referendum over his proposals for constitutional reform.
“The experience of my government ends here,” Renzi said in a televised address to the nation after early voting results suggested his ‘Yes’ camp may have lost the referendum by as much as 20 points.
Sideshow: NZ PM resigns:
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key unexpectedly announced his resignation on Monday, saying it was the “right time” to leave politics.
Key said he had no immediate future plans, but told reporters he would stay in parliament long enough to avoid a by-election for his seat.
(Reporting By Jane Wardell; Editing by Paul Tait)