Far-right leader Geert Wilders projected to win Dutch election in exit poll

Dutch far-right populist chief Geert Wilders, who has vowed to cease all immigration to the Netherlands, was heading for a landslide victory in parliamentary elections on Wednesday.

A win by Mr Wilders, generally dubbed the “Dutch Donald Trump” and who has beforehand urged his nation to go away the EU, would ship shockwaves via Europe.

The anti-Islam politician would now push to type a brand new ruling coalition to turn out to be the nation’s first far-right prime minister.

As voting closed, the Ipsos ballot put his Freedom occasion (PVV) at 35 out of 150 seats, 9 seats forward of the closest rival, Frans Timmermans’ Labour/Inexperienced Left mixture, and greater than double the 17 seats he received on the final election.

“I needed to pinch my arm,” a jubilant Mr Wilders mentioned. “Voters mentioned, ‘We’re sick of it. Sick to our stomachs’,” he mentioned, including he was now on a mission to finish the “asylum tsunami”, referring to the migration problem.

“The Dutch shall be No. 1 once more,” he mentioned. “The individuals should get their nation again.”

The occasion of outgoing prime minister Mark Rutte, the conservative VVD, was in third place at 23 seats, the exit ballot confirmed.

Political events from the left to the far-right PVV are competing to safe a number one place within the Dutch parliament.

Immigration – the difficulty that triggered the collapse of Mr Rutte’s cupboard after 13 years in energy – has been a key problem within the marketing campaign.

Mr Rutte was the nation’s longest-serving prime minister, however has confronted a decline in his recognition.

Mr Wilders’s election programme requires a referendum on the Netherlands leaving the European Union, a complete halt to accepting asylum-seekers and migrant pushbacks on the Dutch borders.

The populist with dyed blonde hair mentioned in a tv debate throughout the election marketing campaign: “It’s been sufficient now. The Netherlands can’t take it any extra. We’ve got to consider our personal individuals first now. Borders closed. Zero asylum seekers.”

A self-proclaimed fan of Hungary’s far-right Victor Orban, Mr Wilders can also be explicitly anti-EU, urging the Netherlands to considerably cut back its funds to the bloc, and to cease the entry of any new members.

He has additionally repeatedly mentioned the nation ought to cease offering arms to Ukraine, saying it wants the weapons to have the ability to defend itself.

Nonetheless, not one of the events he might probably type a authorities with shares these concepts.

Mr Wilders known as on different events to interact in coalition talks, though each VVD and the upstart occasion have raised critical issues about working with the far-right man.

Pieter Omtzigt, a former centrist Christian Democrat who constructed his personal New Social Contract occasion in simply three months to take an estimated 20 seats, mentioned he would at all times be open to talks.

Frans Timmermans, the chief of an alliance of the center-left Labor Social gathering and Inexperienced Left, which was forecast to win 26 seats, mentioned Mr Wilders shouldn’t rely on a coalition with him.

“We are going to by no means type a coalition with events that faux that asylum seekers are the supply of all distress,” Mr Timmermans was quoted by the Related Press as saying.

“And within the coming days and weeks we’ll more and more see how tough, how vital, how important our activity is to face up for the Netherlands the place we exclude nobody, to face up for the Netherlands the place we embrace everybody to face up for the Netherlands, the place we don’t take a look at what your background is, what your faith is, what your pores and skin shade is,” he added.

Hungary’s nationalist prime minister on Wednesday congratulated Mr Wilders, saying the “winds of change are right here”.

“Congratulations to Geerts Wilders and the PVV for his or her spectacular efficiency within the legislative elections which confirms the rising attachment to the defence of nationwide identities,” mentioned French far-right chief Marine Le Pen.

“It’s as a result of there are individuals who refuse to see the nationwide torch extinguished that the hope for change stays alive in Europe,” she added.

Spain’s far-right politician, Santiago Abascal, added: “An increasing number of Europeans demand within the streets and on the polls that their nations, their borders and their rights be defended.”

Matteo Salvini, the deputy prime minister of Italy, mentioned, “a brand new Europe is feasible”.

In 2016, Mr Wilders mentioned he wished to ban all Islamic symbols, mosques and the Quran, though on this election marketing campaign he has been looking for to melt his picture within the hope of coming into authorities, which some voters mentioned they preferred.

He mentioned just lately that opposing Islam remained at his occasion’s core however issues over the price of residing, enhancing look after the aged and limiting immigration had been what he centered on now.

His enduring recognition since he created PVV in 2006 has pushed ruling events through the years to provide the Netherlands one in every of Europe’s hardest immigration insurance policies.

Overseas, his feedback in regards to the prophet Mohammed and requires the Quran to be banned led to generally violent protests in international locations together with Pakistan, Indonesia and Egypt. He was convicted of discrimination after insulting Moroccans at a marketing campaign rally in 2014.

Demise threats in opposition to him imply he has lived underneath heavy police safety for years.

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