Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam party PVV emerged as the big winner in the European elections in the Netherlands on Thursday, taking some 15% of the vote by 11.30pm.
The result means the PVV is set to take four of the 25 Dutch seats in the European parliament.
‘This is a fantastic result,’ said Wilders. ‘…But we are just beginning.’
The biggest loser in the Netherlands is the Labour party (PvdA) which saw its support go down from seven seats to four.
CDA remains biggest
The biggest party remains the Christian Democrats, which is on target to take five seats, compared with seven at the last European elections.
The other big winner is the Liberal Democratic party D66 which is poised to take three seats, compared with just one at the last European election. D66 fought a staunchly pro-European campaign.
‘There has been a clear no vote and a clear yes vote,’ party leader Alexander Pechtold said.
The positive results for the PVV and D66 send a clear message, said CDA party leader and prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende.
The exit poll puts the right-wing Liberals on three seats, the Socialists, Groenlinks and orthodox Christian parties all on two seats each. The pro-animal PvdD is hovering around the one seat mark but too close to call, Nos commentators said.
The turnout in the Netherlands is put at around 40%, slightly more than at the last EU elections, and in line with opinion polls.
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