Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday claimed a dominating parliamentary election victory over anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders, who failed the year's first litmus test for populism in Europe. Provisional results with over half the votes counted suggested Rutte's party won 32 seats in the 150-member legislature, 13 more than Wilders' party, which took only third place with 19 seats. The surging CDA Christian Democrats claimed 20.
Weeks before Dutch voters go to the polls, Prime Minister Mark Rutte has said that anyone who rejects the country's values should leave. “Act normal, or go away,” he says, in a message seen as taking on the anti-immigration Freedom party currently running high in the opinion polls. Elections are taking place on 15 March.
Dutch Eurosceptic Geert Wilders had predicted a political “earthquake” in the European Union’s marathon parliamentary election that kicked off on Thursday, but at least in the Netherlands the tremors weren’t nearly as strong as polls had forecast.