The rhetoric adopted by President Donald Trump during the campaign was not unique to him, with far-right, anti-immigrant nationalist politicians winning elections everywhere, most notably the Brexit movement. However, one of the most far-right European politicians apparently got his ass handed to him in the Dutch elections.
Geert Wilders gained some U.S. attention this weekend, when Rep. Steve King of Iowa cheered his anti-immigrant message on Twitter. However, it appears that a mixture of liberal, progressive, and pro-immigration parties beat back Wilders and his far-right coalition.
Wilders, who had become the subject of intense international media attention in the weeks running up to the election, won a humbling 13% of the vote and 19 seats, an increase on the previous election but below the party’s 2010 tally.
With 28 parties on the ballot paper contesting 150 seats, the election result has produced a Dutch parliament even more fragmented than usual with 13 parties set to win seats, a sign that like elsewhere in Europe, appetite for change was one of the election’s features even if that didn’t translate into a surge of votes for populist or far-right candidates.
The Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and the pro-EU liberal D66 are both projected to win 19 seats (the D66’s best performance since the early 1990s). The green GroenLinks (GL) party was on course to win 16 seats, a four-fold increase from their 2012 result.
The results are based on exit polls, because the Netherlands conducted this election using paper ballots out of hacking fears. “World media dubbed the vote — which often centers on questions of healthcare and jobs — a crucial bellwether in a season of politics overshadowed by the rise of the far right and allegations of Russian interference,” according to Buzzfeed.
Since the world’s attention was on this election so it’s no surprise that Dutch voters mobilized to beat back the anti-Islamic Wilders. One city in was so besiegd by voters, they had to order more paper ballots, according to the Express. In fact, the VNL party, allied with the UKIP party which led Brexit, failed to gain enough votes to even get into the parliament.
However, Wilders’s party, the PVV, has apparently won seats according to a tweet from the candidate. However, even he had to admit that the 12 seat margin separating him and Rutte meant that he would not be prime minister. Wilders added, though, that Rutte “has not seen the last of me,” according to Reuters.
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Featured image via screengrab