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Dutch Far-Right Leader Geert Wilders Emerges as Top Vote-Getter in Election, Exit Polls Indicate

by Ryan Lee
5 comments
Dutch Election Results

In the recent Dutch elections, far-right leader and anti-Islam advocate Geert Wilders emerged as the leading vote-getter, according to exit polls. This result positions Wilders at the forefront of potential discussions to form a new government and may even pave his way to the prime minister’s office.

Exit polls broadcasted by NOS, the national broadcaster, indicated that Wilders’ Party for Freedom secured 35 out of 150 seats in the lower house of parliament, marking a significant increase from the 17 seats obtained in the previous election.

A victory for Wilders, if confirmed by the final vote count, would represent a major upheaval in European political dynamics. His campaign platform included proposals for a Netherlands’ exit from the European Union, a complete stop to asylum-seeker admissions, and stricter border controls against migrants.

His policies also include measures aimed at reducing the influence of Islam in Dutch society.

Wilders, often compared to former U.S. President Donald Trump, faces the challenge of forming a coalition government, given the hesitance of mainstream parties to align with him and his Party for Freedom.

The exit poll results were released as the general election concluded. Ipsos, a polling firm, notes that while exit polls can have a margin of error of up to three seats, they are typically accurate within a range of one or two seats.

This update is part of ongoing coverage of the Dutch general election.

In The Hague, anticipation was high among voters for the results of this closely contested election, set to determine the new government and successor to Mark Rutte, the country’s longest-serving prime minister. The election saw various potential leaders emerge, including a former Turkish refugee who could become the first female prime minister, and an EU ex-climate chief aiming to lead a progressive-left coalition. Amidst these contenders, a centrist reformer who recently formed a new party appeared to lose momentum in the polls.

The election’s outcome, potentially leading to a tightly fought result, underscores the fragmented nature of Dutch politics and could lead to protracted negotiations for forming a new coalition. Dutch citizens, from a population of nearly 18 million, had the option to vote for 26 different parties, with voting locations ranging from iconic windmills to historic sites like the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

This election is part of a broader trend of shifting political landscapes across Europe, with populist and hard-right parties experiencing varying degrees of success in EU member states.

A recent poll showed Wilders’ Party for Freedom in a tight race with Rutte’s People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy and a center-left alliance. The outcome could potentially see Justice and Security Minister Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, a former refugee from Turkey, become the first female prime minister, advocating for stricter migration policies.

Wilders, experiencing a surge in support, has called for more extreme measures, including an outright halt on asylum and migrant pushbacks at the borders.

Post-election, party leaders will engage in negotiations to form the next government. This process took over nine months following the 2021 election, ultimately resulting in a four-party coalition identical to the preceding government.

The campaign was dominated by issues such as migration and restoring trust in the central government, eroded by scandals during Rutte’s tenure. Pieter Omtzigt, a proponent of government reform and transparency, and former EU Climate Commissioner Frans Timmermans, now leading a socialist coalition, are notable figures in this political landscape.

In Amsterdam, the Anne Frank House, a symbol of democratic values and a reminder of the consequences of its breakdown, served as a poignant polling station.

Reported from Brussels by Casert.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Dutch Election Results

Who won the most votes in the recent Dutch elections according to exit polls?

Far-right, anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders emerged as the leading vote-getter in the recent Dutch elections according to exit polls. His Party for Freedom won 35 seats in the 150-seat lower house of parliament, more than doubling their previous count.

What would a victory for Geert Wilders mean for European politics?

A confirmed victory for Geert Wilders could send a seismic shock through European politics. His campaign includes proposals for the Netherlands to leave the European Union, halting asylum-seeker admissions, and implementing strict border controls.

What challenges does Geert Wilders face in forming a government?

Despite his lead, Wilders faces significant challenges in forming a government due to reluctance from mainstream parties to join forces with him and his Party for Freedom.

What does the exit poll say about the accuracy of its results?

The exit poll can have a margin of error of up to three seats, but it is generally accurate within one or two seats, as stated by Ipsos.

What were the key themes in the Dutch election campaign?

The Dutch election campaign was dominated by issues such as migration, the potential exit from the European Union, and restoring trust in the central government, which had been eroded by various scandals.

More about Dutch Election Results

  • Dutch Election Results Overview
  • Geert Wilders’ Political Stance
  • European Union and Dutch Politics
  • Coalition Forming Challenges in Netherlands
  • Voter Sentiments in Dutch Elections

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5 comments

LindaMcCarthy November 22, 2023 - 9:23 pm

I remember Rutte’s scandals, trust in government is so low. People are clearly looking for a change.

Reply
Janet K November 23, 2023 - 3:27 am

wow, Wilders winning, that’s huge!! Didnt expect that kind of shift in Dutch politics.

Reply
Mike237 November 23, 2023 - 3:36 am

I’m not sure about the exit polls, they’ve been wrong before? Can we really trust them this time?

Reply
SandraG November 23, 2023 - 4:41 pm

it’s interesting to see how europe is leaning these days, feels like a lot of change is coming.

Reply
Dave_Rocks November 23, 2023 - 6:36 pm

wilders policies seem extreme, wonder how he’ll manage to form a government with those views, doesnt seem easy.

Reply

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