Surprising Results: Far-Right Party Wins Big in Dutch Election Exit Polls

Geert Wilders, a far-right, anti-Islam populist, is poised for a significant win in the Netherlands’ parliamentary election, making it one of the most significant upsets in Dutch politics in decades, as per local news reports.

An exit poll published by national broadcaster NOS indicates that Geert Wilders is expected to secure 35 seats in the 150-seat lower house of parliament, more than double the number of seats he won in 2021. Frans Timmermans’s Labour/Green Left combination follows with a 10-seat difference from Wilders.

If elected, Wilders, the leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV), could initiate discussions for a new ruling coalition and potentially become the Netherlands’ first hard-right prime minister, according to The Associated Press (AP).

Prior to assuming office as prime minister, Wilders would need to form a coalition government, a challenge that could be difficult without the support of mainstream parties. The AP reported that Wilders moderated some of his positions in the final weeks of the campaign, presumably to appeal to opposing parties.

Wilders, who has been involved in Dutch politics for an estimated 25 years without holding office, has been compared to former President Trump, according to Reuters.

His platform discusses the possibility of a referendum on the Netherlands exiting the European Union and halting the acceptance of asylum-seekers at Dutch borders. Wilders has declared that he is aiming to halt the “asylum tsunami,” an apparent reference to the migration issues facing the country.

“The Dutch will be No. 1 again,” Wilders stated, as reported by the AP. “The people must get their nation back.”

He also advocates for the “de-Islamization” of the Netherlands and has called for the prohibition of mosques and the Quran, the Muslim holy book, as per Reuters. Wilders has referred to the prophet Muhammad as a “pedophile” and labeled Islam as a “fascist ideology” and “backwards religion.”

His views have led to death threats, violent protests, and necessitated heavy police protection in recent years, according to Reuters.

The exit poll, released as the general election concluded, has a margin of error of one seat, which means parties could gain or lose a seat in the final result compared to the poll, as per NOS. A final result could be announced as early as Thursday, the national broadcaster stated.

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