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Dutch elections: Wilders' far-right party beaten, early results show (STA BREAKING NEWS and ARCHIVES)

by Theresa @, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 23:07

Conservative Dutch Prime Minster Mark Rutte has staved off a challenge from his far-right rival in an election widely seen as an indicator of populist sentiment in Europe, preliminary results indicated Wednesday.

The anti-immigrant firebrand Geert Wilders, who had promised to "de-Islamise" the Netherlands, was on course for a poorer than expected performance.
With more than half the votes counted, preliminary results showed Wilders tied for second place with two other parties, the mainstream Christian Democratic Appeal and D66. Rutte's VVD party is projected to win 32 seats out of a total of 150.
The left-wing environmentalist GroenLinks (Green Left) party also appears likely to make big gains, while the PVDA (Labour) party, Rutte's outgoing partners in a coalition, were on course for a historic defeat.
Turnout was 81%, a NOS exit poll said, the highest for three decades.

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