“This is a crucial election for The Netherlands”, said Rutte, adding that it was a chance for a “big democracy” to halt the “domino effect of the wrong sort of populism”. Mr Wilders, who has said that he would bar immigrants to the Netherlands from Muslim countries, says that he has already won the election because “everyone is moving towards us” on policy.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his challenger Wilders met Monday night in their only nationally televised face-to-face debate before Wednesday’s vote. His Freedom Party has seen a surge of support.
“I warmly congratulate [Mark Rutte] for his clear victory against extremism”, outgoing French President François Hollande tweeted.
In Germany, Socialist leader Martin Schulz tweeted.
Dutch Green Party ( Groen Links) leader Jesse Klaver speaks during a meeting for the 2017 Dutch election in the AFAS theater in Amsterdam, Netherlands, March 9, 2017. But this was far short of the polling numbers he had been achieving, which had attracted worldwide press interest and led Rutte to issue stern warnings of a “domino effect” across Europe and “chaos” under Wilders.
According to, Rutte can thank the political fallout between the Netherlands and Turkey for his victory.
“I mean this is your electoral campaign dream, right?”
He went on to say they believe that the idea of Islamophobia will take root and many people in Europe will vote for them. While note precisely accurate, the most recent polls did predict a win for Rutte and second place for Wilders. “Rather, he is part of the political landscape and how his party fares does not tell us much about European populism”, she said.
We won’t have final results for a while, since ballots are being counted by hand due to hacking fears.
The Dutch parliament requires a majority of 76 seats to form a government, so Rutte will need to strike a coalition deal with at least three other parties.
The man all the foreign journalists had come for, Wilders, did not look happy after the results came in and he had every reason not to. That radical platform goes too far for mainstream parties, but many have moved to the right in an attempt to appeal to Wilders voters.
As will be familiar to readers from Denmark or Austria, or those who followed Britain’s Brexit referendum and the rise of UKIP, radical right populists don’t necessarily have to be in power to get the change they want.
Wilders, meanwhile, attempted to tap into discontent among voters who said they were not benefiting from the economic recovery. Rutte has insisted his party will not enter into a coalition with Wilders, while most of the other parties, if not as vehemently, have made similar statements.