Breaking: Geert Wilders’ Party Second in Dutch Election

First exit polls indicate the ruling VVD Party won 31 out of 150 seats

According to first exit polls, VVD, party of the incumbent Prime Minister, Mark Routte, has won the most seats in parliamentary election. The center-right VVD won 31 out of 150 seats, ahead of Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration Freedom Party (PVV).

Dutch parliamentary election drew an unprecedented amount of media coverage, as the anti-immigrant, euro-skeptic Freedom Party had been leading in opinion polls. Wilders, a divisive figure, adopted a harsh anti-Islamic rhetoric and a tough stance on immigration.

Several analysts have stated that the recent diplomatic row between Netherlands and Turkey may have helped the incumbent Prime Minister, Mark Routte.

The parliamentary election saw a very high turnout that benefited pro-EU, liberal parties. The final turnout may exceed 80 percent.

Presuming that the first exit polls are correct, Wilders’ party may win around 19 seats – a disappointing result considering the earlier electoral predictions. Wilders’ party is tied with the Christian Democrats and Democrats (D66), both of which have won 19 seats according to latest exit polls.

However, the ruling VVP will likely need to go into coalition with other parties in order to form the government. While the VVP has ruled out a coalition with PVV, he other two runners-up, the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party, and the Democrats 66 (D66) party, might be possible partners in the future coalition government.

Source: BBC, Guardian

Image: Telegraph