Anti-immigrant populists appear to fall short in Dutch election

Activists celebrate the results of the Dutch elections. Pic  AFP

Both the CDA and D66 would be natural coalition partners for Rutte, who like most Dutch parties, has refused to work with Wilders, turned off by his incendiary rhetoric.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte's center-right party is celebrating a resounding win over populist Geert Wilders' Party for Freedom, in a result that's being welcomed by centrists and progressives in France and Germany, which will also hold national elections this year.

On the other hand- Geert Wilders, who wants to stop the islamisation of Europe with his anti-immigration views, is hoping the protests in Netherlands to increase his chances of winning. If Wilder's does upset the predictions and end up prime minister, he'll have truly earned his nickname: Dutch Trump. Rutte might have high turnout to thank: 81 percent of voters took part on Wednesday.

"We see right-wing extremist parties in the Netherlands, in France, in Italy all arguing they want to have a referendum on European Union membership", Professor Marcel Fratzscher, head of the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin, told Bloomberg Television. Next time we will be nr.

Even if his party garnered the most votes, he faced an arduous route to the top job given that the right-wing Rutte, and numerous other parties, had ruled out entering into a coalition with him.

That was the clear sentiment in the fishing village of Volendam outside Amsterdam yesterday, where the inhabitants of a quintessentially Dutch town, with uniform pretty houses and neatly trimmed hedges have voted heavily for Mr Wilders in the past. "1!" he wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

Mr Wilders insisted "the patriotic spring" would still happen.

There's more to women's NCAA tournament than UConn
Danny Manning has done a tremendous job so far in Winston-Salem, engineering a turnaround from a 2-16 season a year ago . He took home All-ACC first-team honors as a result this season but is far from the only scoring threat on the team.

The already dramatic campaign, which also saw Wilders temporarily suspend his campaign last month over a security leak, took another twist in its final days.

"I would rather have been the largest party ... but we are not a party that has lost".

A number of voters I spoke to were adamant they were motivated by a desire to make sure the Freedom Party's candidate did not win.

Alternative for Germany (AfD), an anti-European Union and anti-immigrant party, is likely to enter the German federal parliament for the first time in September's election. Marine Le Pen has been running strongly ahead of the first round of voting on April 23.

"He is going to keep ramming home his agenda", Mr Korteweg said today in the wake of the provisional election result last night.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert quoted Merkel as saying she was "looking forward to continued good cooperation as friends, neighbors, Europeans".

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