Will Geert Wilders win the Dutch election? Latest polls for the Netherlands election 2017
http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/754516/Dutc | Monday, 13 March 2017 Source: Source: Express
The anti-Islam leader of the Dutch far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) had been riding high on a wave of populism and looked on course to win.
But the populist has now lost his clear lead in the polls, putting him behind the current Prime Minister Mark Rutte with only a few days to go.
A weekly poll in early March predicted that the PVV would win 25 seats, just one seat more than Mr Rutte's People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD).
But the latest poll, published today, found that the VVD has overtaken the PVV, which is now only expected to win 22 seats.
Geert Wilders is the leader of the anti-Islam Party for Freedom (PVV)
The Dutch Polling Indicator, which combines Dutch polls, shows that the VVD is in the lead before the election on Wednesday.
Its latest poll average put the VVD at 16 per cent, three percentage points ahead of the PVV at 13 per cent.
He has pledged to close the Netherlands’ borders, shut down mosques and leave the euro and EU if he gets into power.
This is the latest weekly poll ahead of the Dutch election on Wednesday
This is the latest prediction from the Dutch Poll Indicator
In January Rem Korteweg, senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform (CER), believes that there is an 80 per cent chance that the Mr Wilders will win.
He said: “We have to take the polls with a grain of salt, but Wilder has really been able to create a significant lead over the past two months.”
But Mr Korteweg said Mr Wilders will not become Prime Minister because the other Dutch parties are not willing to form a coalition with him.
He added: “The result of that is going to be a political mess after the election. Wilders will claim that he has the will of the people.
“But there are very few - if any parties - that will go into Parliament with him.”
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte ruled out a coalition between his People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and the PVV.
The latest weekly poll shows that Mr Wilders is set to win 29 of the 76 seats needed to form a coalition government. The poll found the VVD is on course to win just 25.
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Known as the 'Dutch Donald Trump'
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Originally from Venlo in the south-eastern Netherlands, Mr Wilders moved to Israel in 1981 after graduating from secondary school.
Mr Korteweg warned that Mr Wilders’ victory could lead to a long drawn-out coalition process, eventually resulting an unstable coalition.
“It creates a political problem because the alternative coalition will in all likelihood include no less than five parties,” he said.
He said that it is not inconceivable that the coalition could fall apart soon after, sparking fresh elections in the Netherlands.
Mr Wilders’ anti-Islam and Eurosceptic rhetoric is resonating with Dutch voters due to the migrant crisis, the terror threat in Europe and ongoing eurozone woes.
Geert Wilders cuts a star, supposedly representing his country, from an European flag in 2014
The weekly poll from late February showed the PVV was set to win 29 seats, four more than the VVD
Mr Korteweg said: “He runs on an anti-establishment ticket but he’s actually as establishment as Dutch politicians come.
“He’s adept and comfortable at making the anti-establishment point because he has been making it for the last 15 years.”
Mr Rutte has also faced criticism for his handling of a referendum in which the Dutch voters rejected a EU pact with Ukraine in April 2016.
Meanwhile, support for the Labour Party (PvdA) has collapsed after governing in coalition with the VVD since 2012.
Other key political parties are the green party GroenLinks, Democrats 66 (D66), the Socialist Party (SP) and 50PLUS, which represents pensioners’ interests.