Exit poll gives Dutch PM Rutte big lead over far-right Wilders
The Netherlands' center-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte roundly saw off a challenge by anti-Islam, anti-EU Geert Wilders in an election on Wednesday, exit polls said, a huge relief to other EU governments facing a wave of nationalism, APA reports quoting Reuters.
Rutte's VVD Party was projected to win 31 of parliament's 150 seats, down from 41 at the last vote in 2012, but ahead of Wilders who tied in second place with two other parties at 19 each, according to the polls by national broadcaster NOS based on interviews with voters.
At 81 percent, turnout was the highest in 30 years in an election that was a test of whether the Dutch wanted to end decades of liberalism and choose a nationalist, nativist path by voting for Wilders and his promise to "de-Islamicise" the Netherlands and quit the European Union.
In the city of Nijmegen, polling stations had to order extra ballot papers and extend opening times to give people enough time to vote.
The result was a relief to mainstream parties across Europe, particularly in France and Germany, where right-wing nationalists hope to make a big impact in elections this year, potentially posing an existential threat to the EU.
Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen is set to make France's presidential election run-off in May, while euroskeptic, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany is likely to enter the German federal parliament for the first time in a September election.
"The Dutch have rejected the anti-European populist. Good for that. We need you for a strong Europe in 2017," the German foreign ministry tweeted, showing relief that Britain's vote to quit the EU had not been followed by a shock from the Dutch.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff, Peter Altmaier, could not restrain his joy, tweeting: "The Netherlands, oh the Netherlands you are a champion!..... Congratulations on this great result."
The exit polls helped the euro rise to its highest against the dollar since Feb. 7.
Related news releases
- 23.07.2017Strong aftershocks test nerves on Greek Island after powerful earthquake rocks Greece and Turkey
- 22.07.2017Turkish FM denies investigation claims on German firms
- 22.07.2017Turkish, German FMs speak on phone
- 22.07.2017Four German women who joined Islamic State detained in Iraq
- 21.07.20172 dead in Greece earthquake
- 21.07.2017Polish opposition calls for shortening mandates in parliament’s lower house
- 20.07.2017Turkish FM blasts German travel warning
- 20.07.2017Turkey blasts Greek FM for statement on Cyprus
- 20.07.2017Brent crude falls after surpassing $50 per barrel for first time since June
- 20.07.2017Turkish deputy PM condemns remarks by German FM
- 20.07.2017No quick results in Brexit talks, negotiators say
- 19.07.2017Turkish man jailed for insulting Ataturk
- 19.07.2017Binali Yildirim "Until the last terrorist in this territory is killed, we will resolutely continue our fight against terrorism"
- 19.07.2017Ankara urges EU to speed up Bloc's accession process
- 18.07.2017Energy Union unlikely to be bound by EU borders - EU Commission Vice-President
- 18.07.2017Russian S-400 systems' delivery contract with Turkey ready, loan being discussed
- 18.07.2017FIFA Vice President arrested in corruption operation
- 18.07.2017Poroshenko vows to restore sovereignty over Donbass after Malorossiya proposal
- 18.07.2017Iranian president's brother freed on bail: media
- 18.07.2017NATO to hold exercises in Georgia
- 17.07.2017Turkey extends troop deployment in Lebanon's UN force
- 17.07.2017Turkey extends state of emergency for 3 more months
- 16.07.2017Turkish Security Council to consider state of emergency extension in Turkey
- 16.07.2017Turkish president: “We know who our friend is and who our enemy is”
- 16.07.2017Erdogan vows not to let defeated coup be forgotten
- 15.07.2017France calls for swift lifting of sanctions on Qatari nationals
- 15.07.2017EU to finance construction of 7th bridge on Tajik-Afghan border
- 15.07.2017Fire destroys 500 hectares close to Spanish city of Badajoz as heat wave continues
- 15.07.2017Erdogan: West should either stand by terrorists or try to win Turkish people’s trust again
- 15.07.2017U.N. ends round of Syria talks with focus on fight against terrorism
- 15.07.2017Erdogan reiterates firm stance against coup plotters
- 15.07.2017Turkish state reinstates hundreds of civil servants
- 15.07.2017Turkey marks first anniversary of failed July 15 coup attempt
- 14.07.2017Erdogan says he favors extension of emergency rule in Turkey
- 14.07.2017Erdogan: Turkey outdoes West in terms of human rights
- 14.07.2017Deputy PM: On night of 15 July 2016, Turkey faced greatest betrayal in its history
- 14.07.2017Ambassador: Had coup attempt in Turkey succeeded, there would’ve been instability throughout region
- 14.07.2017Security incident at US Consulate in Istanbul, 1 detained
- 14.07.2017Turkey’s ruling AKP urges 160 countries where FETO network operates to be careful
- 14.07.2017Turkey’s ruling party says July 15 coup attempt was backed by foreign forces
- 16.03.20173 PKK terrorists killed southeast Turkey
- 16.03.2017Dutch PM Rutte: Netherlands said no to 'the wrong kind of populism'
- 16.03.2017Explosion at IMF Paris offices after envelope opened, one person hurt
- 15.03.2017Istanbul terminates sister city protocol with Rotterdam
- 15.03.2017US urges cooler heads amid Turkey-Netherlands spat
- 15.03.2017Turkish PM awaits apology from Netherlands