Dutch Anti-Islam Party Of Geert Wilders Heads For Defeat: Polls

Violet Powell
March 16, 2017

That was the clear sentiment in the fishing village of Volendam outside Amsterdam yesterday, where the inhabitants of a quintessentially Dutch town, with uniform pretty houses and neatly trimmed hedges have voted heavily for Mr Wilders in the past.

"It appears that the VVD will be the biggest party in the Netherlands for the third time in a row", he told supporters at a post-election party in the Hague. "Tonight we'll celebrate a little".

With more than 93.3% of the votes counted, the VVD had clinched 33 out of the 150 seats on offer.

Closely following them are the Christian Democrats, the Democrats 66, and Geert Wilders' anti-immigration, anti-Islam Party for Freedom (PVV); all three won 19 seats.

But Rutte is unlikely to ask Wilders and his anti-EU Freedom Party (PVV) to join him in coalition, having been stabbed in the back in 2012 when the MP withdrew his support for the government over austerity talks, forcing snap elections.

But it remains unclear which of the six main parties predicted to enter parliament Rutte can turn to for another governing coalition.

The big victor of the night - and now the largest party of the Dutch left for the first time - is the pro-European ecologists, the GreenLeft.

Merkel said during a speech in Berlin on Thursday: "I was very glad, and I think many people are, that a high turnout led to a very pro-European result".

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Farje also maintained that Trump has made a "huge contribution" to the emergence of these far-right parties in Europe, asserting that they are using the same slogan that Trump used during his election campaign which is to 'make their countries great again'.

The seats will be contested by 28 parties, but the proportionate representation allows even the smallest ones play a certain role within the parliament.

The result was a significant one for Dutch democracy.

Jesse Klaver is only 30 years old.

The Netherlands is known as being one of the most historically tolerant and accepting countries in Europe, despite this election campaign, and so the results may not have a direct impact on electoral dynamics elsewhere.

The general election will take place tomorrow (March 15) and is being watched around the world, with pundits suggesting it could serve as a bellwether for the global rise of right-wing populism.

Politicians from both countries were quick to congratulate the Netherlands for staving off populist policies which overturned the US election and the U.K.'s European Union referendum. Peter Altmaier, the German chancellery chief of staff, tweeted: "The Netherlands you are a champion. Congratulations for this splendid result".

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