- Wilders is likely to form a new regime
- Anti-Islam comments have resulted in death threats
- In his victory speech, Wilders promised to end the “immigration tsunami”.
- Wilders should form coalitions with moderate parties
AMSTERDAM, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Dutch anti-EU far-right populist Geert Wilders, who has vowed to end all immigration to the Netherlands, will win a landslide victory in parliamentary elections on Wednesday, a poll showed.
Beating all predictions, the exit poll gave Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) 35 out of 150 seats, 10 ahead of nearest rival former EU Commissioner Frans Timmermans’ Labour/Green Left coalition. That range was higher than expected.
Polls are generally reliable, with a margin of error of approximately two places. Wilders’ lead effect was irrevocably high.
At a cafe in The Hague, Wilders fans erupted in cheers, hugging and throwing their arms in the air.
In a victory speech, Wilders promised to end the “tsunami of asylum and immigration” and promised to return the country to the Dutch.
Wilders has ridden a wave of anti-immigration sentiment and blamed a housing shortage on the flow of asylum seekers.
A self-proclaimed admirer of Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, Wilders is openly anti-EU, urging the Netherlands to control borders, significantly reduce payments to the union and block the entry of new members.
The poll shows the conservative VVD, the party of outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rudd, in third place with 24 seats.
Immigration – the issue that fueled the collapse of Rudd’s last cabinet after 13 years in power – has been a key issue in the campaign.
“Enough is enough. The Netherlands can’t take it anymore. We have to think about our own people first. The borders are closed. There must be zero asylum seekers,” Wilders said in a pre-election televised debate.
Wilders is known internationally for his fiery anti-Islam politics and was convicted by a Dutch judge of discrimination in 2014 after he insulted Moroccans at a campaign rally.
Wilders will preside over government formation talks that begin on Friday. He has said that he wants to lead the country, but needs to cooperate with other parties to form an alliance with a majority in Parliament. That process usually takes months.
He is expected to try to form a right-wing government with the VVD and the upstart ‘New Social Deal’ party, although talks could be difficult as both parties have expressed serious reservations about working with Wilders. Position of Islam.
Reporting by Johnny Cotton, Toby Sterling, Anthony Deutsch, Bart Meijer, Stephanie van den Berg, Charlotte van Kampenhout; By Ingrid Melander; Editing by Toby Chopra, Angus MacSwan
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