Netherlands: Election Will Put Euroskepticism to the Test

Buma supported Rutte’s decision to block Turkish politicians from addressing supporters of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan among immigrants in the Netherlands ahead of a Turkish referendum.

However, if Wilders ends up first after Wednesday 25 March 2017 election, PVV stands zero chance in forming government as all the rest of the parties have declined cooperation with Wilders.

The elections are being followed by an unprecedented number of foreign journalists and camera crews – double the interest at the last election in 2012. “Never. No”, he said.

Dutch polls now anticipate the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), led by current Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, will take around 17 per cent of the voter share, only 3 per cent more than Geert Wilders’ populist right Party for Freedom (PVV). Analysts suggest this could require four to six parties – and weeks of negotiations.

Due to the Netherlands’ system of proportional representation and government by coalition, Wilders himself is unlikely to become Prime Minister or be able to form a coalition with other parties, even if his party receives a plurality of votes. “The Netherlands belongs to everyone and to all those people who do their best work”, argued PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher.

Headed by Emile Roemer, the party primarily focuses on policies including affordable healthcare. It would be a mistake to assume, however, that anyone who was pro-Brexit is automatically pro-Trump, pro-Wilders or pro other countries leaving the EU. Experts believe that the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, the Christian Democratic Appeal and Democrats 66 will form the core of the new Cabinet, but so far these movements have only 63 out of the required 76 seats. 50Plus leader Henk Krol, expected to win 10 seats, wrote in an opinion piece that Freedom Party voters shouldn’t be excluded beforehand, because “everyone will understand what impression that will leave and how the Freedom Party can grow stronger from this”. Another one is 50Plus, which represents the voters of above the age of 50 and advocates the rights for retired people.

The 30-year-old Klaver said it was “time for a new leadership” and called for The Netherlands to welcome more refugees.

On Tuesday, a Liss panel poll showed VVD likely to lead in the upcoming election with a 16 percent approval rating and PVV tailing it with 13.6 percent of projected votes.

Wilders cancelled several appearances, and rarely gives interviews. Recently, he referred to some Moroccans as “scum who make the streets unsafe” and has frequently spoken about closing the national borders to Muslims, bickered against mosques, expressed his desire for deporting Muslim dual-citizenship holders who have committed a crime and banning the Quran which he has equated with Mein Kampf.

The poll put the Freedom Party in second place behind Mr Rutte’s VVD party.

When will the results be announced?

But it won’t be until Thursday Australian time that the results are known.

None of the party representatives made a critical faux-pas or scored points that should alter campaign dynamics established over months.

It’s even more important to stress that the prospects of Wilders ending up in government are essentially zero.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will go head-to-head with his main rival Geert Wilders