Wilders loses Dutch election but his influence lives on

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By Euronews
Wilders loses Dutch election but his influence lives on

The challenge from Geert Wilders and his nationalist Freedom Party appears to have been seen off by the centre-right, but it may still take some time for the full impact of the Dutch election to be assessed.

Euronews reporter James Franey talked to political analyst js Matthijs Rooduijn about who were the big winners and losers in the Dutch election.

“First of all the big winner is of course the conservative Liberal of Mark Rutte. I think what has helped him a lot is he has to some extent incorporated something of the nationalist discourse of Geert Wilders of the radical right party. And also, of course, the clash with Turkey has probably helped him because that allowed him to present himself as a strong leader. Another winner is the Green Left party, that party has quadrupled its seats, and that party has the exact opposite message of Geert Wilders. It’s pro-Europe, it wants to help refugees, it’s pro-immigration and that is the exact opposite and that party has won a lot as well. The big loser is the social democratic, they have governed in the last four years. It seems that the voter is not really happy with the results. The party has never performed as badly as today.

euronews: “Mark Rutte the prime minister talked about stopping the so-called domino effect. Do you think he has done what he set out to achieve?”

“He said he wanted to stop the domino effect, so that was the idea that would be a patriotic Spring in Europe, after 2016 was the year of Brexit, the year of the victory of Donald Trump. The question now was whether 2017 was the year of patriotism in continental Europe. In the Netherlands, the first elections were held today, we saw that Geert Wilders did not get the victory that was predicted a couple of weeks ago. But what did happen is he influenced many other parties and they have become more nationalist, so to that extent, there is quite some nationalism in Dutch society. That could be some good news for Marine Le Pen.”