Dutch far-right party makes big gains at EU election, exit poll shows

A final exit poll suggested Thursday that Geert Wilders’ far-right party made big gains and was in a neck and neck race with a center-left alliance in Dutch elections for the European Union parliament.

In a possible harbinger of strong electoral gains for the hard right in the Europe Union, the exit poll indicated that Wilders’ Party for Freedom had made the biggest gains — winning seven seats, up from just one in the last parliament.

The poll of some 20,000 voters published by national broadcaster NOS predicted the center-left alliance would win eight of 31 European Parliament seats up for grabs in the Netherlands.

Wilders was jubilant.

“The biggest winner,” he said on X, formerly Twitter. “And super tense because in Sunday’s final result we can still become the biggest.”

Read more2024 European Election Projections and Results

Having sent shockwaves around Europe six months ago by becoming the biggest party in the Dutch national parliament, Wilders now wants to build on that popularity and set the tone for much of the bloc, with calls to claw power back to national capitals and away from the EU so that member states have more autonomy on issues such as migration.

Paradoxically, like many hard-right parties across the bloc, Wilders wants to get more power in the European Parliament, so he can weaken the EU institutions from within.

(AP)


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