- Title: Exit poll gives Dutch PM Rutte big lead over far-right Wilders
- Date: 15th March 2017
- Summary: THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS (MARCH 15, 2017) (REUTERS) VOTING OFFICIAL BRINGING BOX FULL WITH BALLOTS FOR COUNTING CAMERAMAN AT WORK VOTING OFFICIAL OPENING LOCK ON BOX VOTING OFFICIAL EMPTYING BOX FULL OF BALLOTS BALLOTS VOTING OFFICIALS BALLOTS BALLOT BOXES VOTING OFFICIALS PICKING UP BALLOTS TO COUNT VARIOUS OF VOTING OFFICIALS COUNTING BALLOTS EXTERIOR OF CONFERENCE CENTRE 'WORLD TRADE CENTRE' WHERE DUTCH PRIME MINISTER MARK RUTTE IS TO ADDRESS SUPPORTERS JOURNALISTS OUTSIDE CONFERENCE CENTRE JOURNALISTS AT WORK JOURNALISTS INTERVIEWING DUTCH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT (MP) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE'S PARTY FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY (VVD) MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, HAN TEN BROEKE, TALKING TO JOURNALIST (SOUNDBITE) (English) PEOPLE'S PARTY FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY (VVD) MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, HAN TEN BROEKE, SAYING: "He won seats obviously and many other parties also won seats and we actually lost seats but, in these difficult times, when parties are normally not rewarded for taking tough measures, I think the message that can be drawn from this election is a different one. The message is actually that responsible leadership can actually pay off and I think tonight has proven that people want our prime minister to stay in and stay on. Now, formation processes in our country are famously long, we need to wait and see the end result before we can actually make an assessment on what will happen. I couldn't possibly comment on that right now. The only thing I can say is that it seems with this result that we're leading the polls and we probably will stay on with the prime minister that we have." PEOPLE'S PARTY FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY (VVD) MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, ANNE MULDER, TALKING TO JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (English) PEOPLE'S PARTY FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY (VVD) MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, ANNE MULDER, SAYING: "European Union has to solve the big cross-border problem that concerns people - that's migration, security, these kinds of things. Instead of saying for every problem, 'more European Union is the solution'." Journalist asking: "Will it mean more border controls?" "Control the external borders of the European Union, yes, especially with migrants coming from the north of Africa." Journalist asking: "Other measures?" "That's a big one. If that's possible to do this in a couple of weeks, then the European Union is very successful." MULDER WALKING AWAY JOURNALISTS AT WORK
- Embargoed: 29th March 2017 23:17
- Keywords: Dutch Netherlands election reactions PVV VVD Rutte Wilders
- Location: THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS
- City: THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS
- Country: Netherlands
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA001682OZLZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The Netherlands' centre-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte roundly saw off a challenge by the anti-Islam, anti-EU Geert Wilders in an election on Wednesday (March 15), exit polls said, a huge relief to other EU governments facing a wave of nationalism.
Rutte's VVD Party was projected to win 31 of parliament's 150 seats, down from 41 at the last vote in 2012, but ahead of Wilders who tied in second place with two other parties at 19 each, according to the polls by national broadcaster NOS based on interviews with voters.
At 81 percent, turnout was the highest in 30 years in an election that was a test of whether the Dutch wanted to end decades of liberalism and choose a nationalist, nativist path by voting for Wilders and his promise to "de-Islamicise" the Netherlands.
The result was a relief to mainstream parties across Europe, particularly in France and Germany, where right-wing nationalists hope to make a big impact in elections this year.
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