He is supposed to obtain 35 seats out of 150 in the House of Representatives of Parliament, more than double what he obtained in 2021. Although he is far from a majority, the results place him in a significant lead over the rest of the forces.
It is a radical shift in expectations, and its impact should be felt as far away as Brussels.
“This exit poll is historic. It is the biggest change we have ever seen in the Netherlands,” Tom van der Meer, a political scientist, told NOS.
“This may not be what other parties in Europe or other countries are looking for, but this is democracy,” the 60-year-old politician stressed in the afternoon after the vote.
The first signs of what was being prepared did not appear until Tuesday afternoon, when some opinion polls indicated a Wilders victory, throwing an election already announced as approaching into chaos.
Until then, the FV had been ranked fourth in terms of voting intentions, behind the coalition of Greens and Socialists led by Frans Timmermann, and even far behind the VVD and CSN’s favourites, the liberal and centrist conservatives, respectively.
The reversal of poll indicators is not limited to Wilders. Timmermans also has reasons to celebrate, as his power has become the second most votedand should get 25 or 26 places, which is a much higher jump than the previous 17.
The biggest disappointment will be that of Dylan Yeselgöz, former Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s successor at the head of the VVD, who is expected to get only 23 or 24 seats, compared to the previous 34. Peter Omtsigt, of the recently formed National Communist Party, should only get 23 or 24 seats. 20 deputies remain.
The final results are supposed to be known only tomorrow. However, negotiations for the future Dutch executive are set to begin this evening. It may take weeks or months.
Celebrate Rocky’s voice
Among those most surprised by the results will be Wilders himself and the rest of the leaders of the Freedom Party. It was only three days before they booked a spot for election night, due to signs of positive changes in their voting intentions.
With a giant smile and the sound of the Rocky soundtrack, Wilders entered a café in the coastal region of the country. “Voters spoke tonight and said they are fed up“, male.
“We will ensure that Dutch voters get priority again,” he added in a classic cliché of his speeches, adding that his party would work to stop “tsunami Asylum for migrants, putting more money in people’s pockets and increasing security.
But Wilders knows that he will not be able to become prime minister. He needs to ally with other parties in order to govern, and none of the remaining parties that received the highest votes have acknowledged their willingness to do so. Quite the opposite.
The second priority of Wilders’ reaction to the prospect of victory was to appear conciliatory, saying it was time to join forces and find solutions to the problems “in accordance with the constitution” of the country.
Political scientist Van der Meer considered that there are three aspects that could explain the unexpected victory achieved by Wilders, who is a veteran of Dutch politicians who has until now remained on the margins of voting preferences, and that It could largely reverse the European path that the Netherlands has adopted under Rutte over the past thirteen years.
“First, we have had a mediocre CEO for the past decade,” Meer analyzed. “Voters mainly went to the wards in response.”
“Secondly, immigration was a major theme of the election campaign and voters immediately remember the Freedom Party when they think of this issue,” he noted.
“Finally, VVD leader Jeselgoz opened the door to the Freedom Party as a coalition partner. In the Netherlands, people were looking for a party more outspoken than the VVD but capable of governing. Now the door has opened for the Freedom Party, and they have found it.”
Dylan Jesselguz has already reneged on his promise to cooperate with Wilders in The Hague, but it may be too late. In her program, she herself defended greater control over immigration, considering that the country is unable to accept such a large number of high-quality applications for asylum, work or study.
However, the party does not share Wilders’ ideas, which, in addition to banning mosques, bans the Qur’an and the use of Islamic headscarves in government buildings. He also does not want hardline Eurosceptics to defend “Next” and defends the continuation of close relations with Brussels.
Therefore, the question now is to know how the rest of the parties will react, what alliances and concessions they will be prepared to make, and will they join the far right in order to form the government? Will they ally with each other in parliamentary agreements to stop Wilders’ policies or even form an alternative government with a majority of representatives?
The leaders of the other three main parties had previously confirmed that they would not participate in a coalition led by the Freedom Party. However, a parliamentary majority can only be obtained through an alliance between at least four parties.
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