Although Sky News often skews left, it’s reporting on Wednesday’s Dutch elections looks straight to me, unlike a half dozen other reports I read which slant toward hinting that nationalism is dead in Europe.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has won the country’s election, holding off a strong challenge from far-right leader Geert Wilders, exit polls suggest.
Mr Rutte’s centre-right VVD party is reported to have taken 31 of the 150 parliamentary seats, or 21% of the vote – down from 27% in the 2012 election.
He said his victory had stopped the “wrong kind of populism” in its tracks, after last year’s Brexit vote and the election of President Trump.
Mr Rutte said: “We want to stick to the course we have – safe and stable and prosperous.”
The PM, who has moved more to the right on issues such as immigration defeated Mr Wilders’ anti-Islam, anti-immigrant PVV party, which is reported to have won 19 seats (13%).
This puts him equal second with two others – the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and the Democracy party D66.
Mr Wilders, who wants to close mosques, ban the Koran and leave the EU, received much of the media coverage during the campaign and he has achieved a rise of 3% compared to 2012.
In a tweet, the politician, known as the Dutch Donald Trump, thanked his backers and warned: “Rutte is not rid of me by a long shot”.
Meanwhile, the Green party saw a big rise in support, winning 16 seats, with their share of the vote up from 2% five years ago to 11% this time.
There was a high turnout where voters had 28 parties to choose from.
Coalition talks are now expected to last weeks or possibly months.
But most of the main parties have already stated they would not work with the PVV.
Sky’s Europe Correspondent Mark Stone said: “With the exit polls as they are, Geert Wilders has failed to do what many suspected he might be able to achieve which was to win the most seats in the Dutch parliament. That hasn’t happened.”
He added: “The populist uprising that many had expected – that Geert Wilders might be able to achieve – has not come to pass.”