Right-wing populist Geert Wilders' party wins Dutch election: exit poll

Voters across the Netherlands cast their votes in the nation's general election on Wednesday in what was expected to be a tight race. With all the ballots now collected, the first exit poll has revealed that the Party for Freedom (PVV), led by right-wing populist Geert Wilders, has garnered the most seats, at 35.

In order to attain a majority, a party must win at least 76 seats, meaning Wilders and the PVV will have to form a coalition with others if they hope to actually form government. It is unclear if they will succeed, as the leaders of three other parties have stated they will not work with the PVV.

According to the Guardian, the Green (GL) - Labour (PvdA) alliance led by Frans Timmermans came in second with 26 seats, the Dilan Yesilgöz-Zegerius' People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) took third place with 23 seats, while the New Social Contract (NSC) managed to secure 20 seats.

The official results are being tabulated and will be released shortly.

Following Wilders' apparent victory, his far-right French counterpart Marine Le Pen celebrated via a post on X.

"Congratulations to [Wilders] and the PVV for their spectacular performance in the legislative elections which confirms the growing attachment to the defense of national identities," she said. "It is because there are people who refuse to see the national torch extinguished that the hope for change remains alive in Europe."

Over the past decade, Wilders has risen to prominence as a vocal critic of Islam and open borders. In 2019, for example, he proved that the Netherlands would not compromise its secular values by holding a competition to see who could draw the best cartoon of the prophet Mohammad, an action strictly forbidden in Islam.

In the final debate before the election, Wilders promised to close the border to asylum seekers, a move that his supporters have been requesting for years.

Image: Title: Geert


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