Dutch exit poll predicts narrow election victory for VVD party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte
Source: Washington Post
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — An exit poll predicted a narrow election victory Wednesday for Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s free-market and pro-European Union VVD party, but the result was considered too close to call.
The poll, commissioned by the two biggest Dutch news broadcasters, gave VVD 41 of the House of Representatives’ 150 seats and the center-left Labor Party 40 votes. It has a 1.5 percent margin of error.
If official results bear out the poll, the result would set up VVD and Labor — both pro-Europe parties — to forge a two-party ruling coalition with Rutte returning for a second term as prime minister. Both parties won an extra 10 seats compared with the last parliament.
The election was cast as a virtual referendum on Europe amid the continent’s crippling debt crisis, but the result was a stark rejection of the most radical critic of the EU, anti-Islam firebrand Geert Wilders, whose Freedom Party was forecast to win 13 seats, 11 fewer than at the last election.