BREAKING NEWS

Now Reading:

Campaigning hots up in countdown to Dutch election


Netherlands

Campaigning hots up in countdown to Dutch election

Campaigning has reached fever pitch in the Netherlands ahead of Wednesday’s election, with the far-right poised to make huge gains.

Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party (PVV) are being tipped to come in second with 22 seats with his anti- immigration and anti-EU manifesto.

For Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s Liberals the stakes are high. He is bidding for a third term but his campaign has been deflected by the row with Turkey. He may be returned as leader of the largest party but pundits predict a deep cut in the number of seats. Down from 40 in the 150-seat chamber to a mere 24.

With the spoils expected to be spread about, smaller parties such as the progressive D66 led by Alexander Pechthold think they are in with a possible coalition opportunity.

Many have vowed not to work with Wilders, and these elections have also seen the remarkable rise of the left-wing ecologists GroenLinks and their charismatic young leader Jesse Klaver.

With a total of 28 parties chasing some 12.9 million eligible voters, the results are likely to be fragmented and negotiations to form the next coalition government could take months.