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22 Nov, 2023 22:01

Right-wing party set for Dutch election victory – exit poll

Geert Wilders’ Party For Freedom has more than doubled its presence in the Netherlands' parliament, pollsters say
Right-wing party set for Dutch election victory – exit poll

The right-wing Party For Freedom (PVV) has taken a commanding lead in the Dutch general election, winning 35 parliamentary seats, compared to the Green-Labour alliance’s 26, according to an early exit poll.

Released half an hour after voting closed on Wednesday night, the poll showed retiring Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) taking only 23 seats. The newly-formed New Social Contract, a centrist party, is projected to finish in fourth place with 20 seats.

Should the results remain unchanged, the PVV will emerge as the largest party in parliament. It won 17 seats in 2021’s general election, losing some of the right-wing vote to the then-ascendant Forum for Democracy (FvD). However, Wednesday’s exit poll showed the FvD on track to lose five of its eight seats.

PVV Leader Geert Wilders published a video of himself celebrating, exclaiming “thirty-five!” as the results were broadcast on the Netherlands’ NOS network.

Despite Wilders’ jubilation, he is unlikely to be able to form a government, as most of the Netherlands’ mainstream parties have ruled out working with the PVV. Wilders’ party supports restrictions on Muslim immigration and the closure of mosques, although Wilders toned down his usually fiery rhetoric in the run-up to this year’s vote.