Exit polls showing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) far ahead of Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party (PVV) were greeted with relief in Brussels yesterday night (15 March), amid fears of a surge in populism in Europe, with elections in France and Germany still to come in 2017.
Early results show ruling liberal VVD party taking 31 seats, while Geert Wilders’ far-right PVV securing only 19 seats.
One of the politicians picked a trendy music venue.
Mark Rutte’s party is set for 31 seats, with Geert Wilders’ anti-immigrant party predicted to win 19.
Officially, the European Parliament’s Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group backs Benoît Hamon for the French presidency. But MEPs are split over his European outlook, with some, especially the British and Italians, preferring Emmanuel Macron. EURACTIV France reports.
Wilders said a Dutch exit from the EU would be “the best thing that could happen to us”. Rutte said it would create “chaos”.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte clashed with his main rival anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders on Monday (13 March), as they laid out starkly opposing visions of their country’s future in an election campaign now consumed by a diplomatic row with Turkey.