Elections in the Netherlands: Explainer

Activists celebrate the results of the Dutch elections. Pic  AFP

"I am so proud at what has happened and happy that we have been given the trust again" by voters, said Tamara van Ark, campaign leader of Mr Rutte's centre-right VVD party.

Amid unprecedented worldwide attention, the Dutch go to the polls Wednesday in a parliamentary election that is seen as a bellwether for the future of populism in a year of crucial votes in Europe. Rutte said: "There will not be a Quran police".

He acknowledged that the country's elections were being closely watched amid concerns about the rise of far-right and populist parties in Europe with other national elections due later in the year.

Although Mr Rutte is ahead in the exit polls, the prime minister will not be celebrating a victory as early indicators show he lost a quarter of the vote.

The VVD leads the latest Peilingwijzer poll of polls by Leiden University, on 17% - which could equate to about 24-28 seats - while Wilders' party is close behind on 14%, about 12-23.

Geert Wilders, a passionate anti-Muslim politician who has called for the Netherlands' mosques to be shuttered and borders to be closed to asylum seekers and immigrants from Islamic countries, surged in the polls in recent months but the popularity of his Freedom Party has waned in the past few weeks.

With two days to go until the Dutch vote in a pivotal parliamentary election, pollster Maurice De Hond found that the spat between the Netherlands and Turkey, and Saturday's night of rioting by ethnic Turks in Rotterdam, had benefited the two parties that have been most skeptical on immigration.

"The Netherlands does not belong to all of us", he proclaimed.

Wilders supporter Robert Housmans says, "The ideas that Mr".




Up to 13 million Dutch people took to the polls today to have their say in the momentous Dutch election 2017. You know what it will cost.don't do it. So enormous, in fact, that people can't stop sharing photos of them.

Rutte's Liberal VVD would scoop up 31 seats in the new parliament making it the largest party, with Wilders and his Freedom Party (PVV) sharing second place on 19 seats with two other parties, the public broadcaster NOS said.

"Wilders will play no role in the formation of a government", said Amsterdam Free University political analyst Andre Krouwel.

Pollsters were notoriously inaccurate at predicting the outcome of the British referendum, known as Brexit, as well as the US election, therefore no one is expected to claim victory until long after the polls have closed at 9 p.m. local time.

Even if Mr Wilders wins the most seats, he is unlikely to form a government as none of the main stream parties will cooperate with him.

Amid the tussle between Rutte and Wilders, numerous 12.9 million eligible voters had been wavering between the record 28 parties running.

Rutte's handling of the crisis with Ankara - barring one Turkish minister from flying into the country, and expelling another - appears to have boosted his image. It would be the best election result for the Greens to date. "The chance he will be chosen tomorrow is much bigger than it was last week".

Most polling stations were to open Wednesday at 0630 GMT, and close at 2000 GMT with exit polls expected shortly after. This took over four months to after the 2010 election and seven months in 1977.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Kane Williamson wicket key for South Africa - Du Plessis
Mar 16, 2017 - 00:46
Patel wins the spinner's spot as De Grandhomme comes in for Santner - obviously looking for a bit of extra batting prowess further down the order.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top SA power plan released - 16-Mar
Mar 16, 2017 - 00:44
Asked whether the gas guarantee would make make any difference to the amount of money being paid by local industrial gas users, Turnbull said it would depend on the amount of gas available.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Ackman bails on Valeant, losing $3 billion
Mar 15, 2017 - 01:22
During the period, Ackman supported the company's growth prospects and its intention of buying more companies to stimulate growth. Monitoring the stock price relative to its moving averages may be helpful when trying to measure future share movement.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Meet Gru's brother Dru in Despicable Me 3 trailer
Mar 15, 2017 - 01:17
The first one focused on Gru and wife Lucy Wilde, played by Kristen Wiig, confronting Trey Parker's character Balthazar Bratt. Even though it may be the third in the Despicable Me trilogy, Illumination has expressed no interest in ending the franchise.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Packers will sign CB Davon House to one-year contract, per report
Mar 15, 2017 - 01:15
In his third year with the Packers, the one time offensive rookie of the year finished with 758 yards and three touchdowns. Elliott is the only Packers player to post a double-digit tackle total on special teams in each of the last three seasons.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top US Treasuries trade cautiously ahead of FOMC policy meeting
Mar 15, 2017 - 01:14
The dollar slid lower against the yen, with USD/JPY down 0.24% to 114.59, off Friday's seven-week highs of 115.49. Scotland's first minister, meanwhile, called for a referendum for Scotland to break free of the United Kingdom.

United Kingdom minister tells lawmakers not to delay Brexit
Mar 15, 2017 - 01:14
The EU's Court of Auditors will determine the amount of the bill on the EU side towards the end of the two-year negotiations.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top WJC welcomes draft legislation in Germany to combat online hate speech
Mar 15, 2017 - 01:13
As part of the measures, sites will have to delete offending material within a week and run 24-hour helplines for concerned users. He added that while the commitments so far undertaken by companies have led to initial improvements, they remain insufficient.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Child in need of heart transplant escorted through storm
Mar 15, 2017 - 01:12
Road crews are preparing for the worst as a blizzard is expected to hit the region tonight and continue until Tuesday afternoon. National Weather Service storm warnings last into Tuesday night across eastern Pennsylvania.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top BBC interviewee interrupted by own children responds to racism row
Mar 15, 2017 - 01:10
It also generated a bit of controversy when some assumed that Kim was the family nanny, not the exasperated stay-at-home mom. Then, their lives changed nearly immediately, and they had to put their phones on airplane mode because of all the demand.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Top US attorney Bharara 'fired'
Mar 14, 2017 - 00:46
There are 93 Senate-confirmed USA attorneys appointed by the president. "I guess that's why Trump fired him", Warren added. The replacement of most, if not all, serving USA attorneys is quite customary at the start of every new administration.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top New Ferguson video casting doubt on 'robbery' sparks protests
Mar 14, 2017 - 00:46
Ferguson police had released surveillance video of Brown strong arming his way out of the same store with cigarillos. McCullough flatly told reporters there was "nothing new " about the video and it changed nothing in the case.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Department store chain Gordmans files for bankruptcy, plans to liquidate
Mar 14, 2017 - 00:43
The Company, which is engaged in the retail sale of apparel, home goods and other merchandise, is represented by Jeffrey T. One of two Topeka Radio Shack stores closed Sunday even as Gordmans department store filed bankruptcy Monday morning.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top IN unemployment stays at 4 percent
Mar 14, 2017 - 00:42
Illinois's unchanged unemployment rate of 5.7 percent was the 46th highest nationally and the highest in the Midwest. Employment in other service, including repair-maintenance services and membership organizations, rose by 1,900.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top David Taylor jailed for murdering Bali policeman
Mar 14, 2017 - 00:42
David Taylor was found guilty of the death of Wayan Sudarsa by three judges in Denpasar on Monday and was taken to a holding cell. A British man has been jailed for six years after being found guilty of killing a police officer with a bottle in Bali.