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Dutch nationalist Wilders makes big gains at EU election, exit poll shows

Dutch nationalist Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration party on Thursday was projected to have made large gains in the Netherlands’ election for the European Parliament, an exit poll published by broadcaster NOS showed.
Wilders’ PVV party, which won the national election last year but secured no seat at the previous EU election, was predicted to have won seven seats, one less than the Labour/Green Left combination.

The exit poll has an error margin of roughly one seat.
Voting in the Netherlands kicked off four days of elections for the EU parliament across the 27 EU member states.

It encapsulated the main internal political challenge facing the union: the rising popularity of nationalist and populist parties that want to dismantle the EU from within.
Wilders, known for his outspoken views on immigration and Islam, said on Thursday a good result for the nationalist parties should encourage them to unite in their bid to change EU regulations and repatriate more powers to national legislatures.

The Labour/Green Left combination dropped one seat from their 2019 result, but remained the largest overall after a campaign in which they constantly warned about the rise of nationalist parties.
The two left-wing parties ran on a joint ticket, but will have separate factions in parliament after the vote.

The actual result of the Dutch election will be announced after voting has closed in all 27 member states, on Sunday at 2100 GMT.

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