Dutch elections: astonishing victory of the far-right party

In the parliamentary elections in the Netherlands, almost complete vote counting has confirmed that the anti-European far-right Freedom Party (PVV), led by Geert Wilders, is winning by a large margin.

According to NOS, the preliminary forecast, based on 98% of the votes counted, shows the PVV winning 37 seats – two more than the exit poll predicted and 20 more than the party currently has in parliament.

It is followed by an alliance of the Left-Greens and Labor (GroenLinks-PvdA) led by former European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans with 25 seats.

The People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) of current Prime Minister Mark Rutte, led by Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, can expect to win 24 seats.

The newly formed New Social Contract (NSC) political party, led by Peter Omzigt, is expected to win 20 seats.

The new Farmers’ Citizens’ Union, formed during the farmers’ protests in the Netherlands, can count on 7 seats.

All parties from the current coalition with the VVD have significantly worsened their results: “Democracy 66 gets 9 seats, the Christian Democratic Appeal – five, and the Christian Union – three seats.

The voter turnout was 77.8%. In the Netherlands, parliamentary elections will determine Rutte’s successor. After the vote, the Netherlands will face a long coalition formation process.

According to NOS, it is likely that Wilders will lead the process of forming a new government. Wilders will likely try to create a right-wing government with the VVD and the New Social Contract party, which together will have a majority of 81 seats in the 150-seat parliament.

Negotiations could be challenging, as both parties have said they have serious doubts about cooperating with Wilders due to his outspoken anti-Islamic stance, which includes a desire to ban all mosques and the Koran in the Netherlands.

Ipsos’s research shows that migration and asylum were important issues for voters, and Wilders’ nationalist party benefited from this.

Wilders supports Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s policies and is openly anti-EU, calling on the Netherlands to control its borders, significantly reduce its payments to the Union, and block the accession of any new members.

He has also repeatedly stated that the Netherlands should stop supplying weapons to Ukraine, saying that they need the weapons to defend themselves. However, none of the parties with which he could form a government share these ideas.

Rutte, who has led the country for the past 10 years, will remain in office until a new government takes office, likely in the first half of 2024.

Rutte and his four-party coalition resigned in July after failing to reach an agreement on a package of measures to curb migration.

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