Wouter Bos, leader of the PVDA - the biggest Dutch loser - doesn't look too good as the European Parliament election results come in
A right-wing Dutch lawmaker's party has made big gains in European Parliament elections, exit polls suggest.
They say Geert Wilders' Freedom party will win four of the 25 Dutch seats in the parliament, just one behind the country's Christian Democrats. Dutch and British voters were the first to go to the polls to elect the EU's most powerful legislative body. Some 375 million people in 27 member states are eligible to vote. Most will cast their ballots over the weekend.
'For the Netherlands'
Exit polls showed late on Thursday that Mr Wilders' Freedom Party (PVV) was on course of winning just over 15% of votes in the Netherlands. If confirmed, the result is second only to Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's Christian Democrats (CDA), which dropped alsmost 5% to just under 20% of the vote. The polls showed that the party's governing coalition partner, the PvdA, was the biggest loser - down nearly 10% to about 14% of the Dutch vote.
"We dare to talk about sensitive subjects like Islamisation and we use plain and simple words that the voter can understand," Mr Wilders has said.
Mr Wilders was refused entry to Britain in February on the grounds that he had sought to incite hatred with a film he made last year that equated Islam with violence and likened the Koran to Mein Kampf. The controversial politician is also facing prosecution in the Netherlands for making anti-Islamic statements, following a court ruling the previous month.
Despite the charges many Dutch voters seem to like what Mr Wilders is saying, the BBC's Geraldine Coughlan in The Hague reports. His party was campaigning under the motto "For the Netherlands" and was extremely anti-EU, our correspondent says. Mr Wilders has said he will not take up his seat if elected as an MEP.
Polls show that Euroscepticism among Dutch voters has increased since the last European elections, with EU enlargement and integration the most unpopular issues, our correspondent adds. Across Europe, far-right parties are hoping to win at least 15 seats. However, the centre-right European People's Party bloc is expected to remain the main force, followed by the European Socialists.
Personally, I believe the Dutch vote means that the Dutch are fed-up with the EU, and doesn't necessarily mean we're anti-islamic. Geert Wilders' party is the most prominent anti-EU party, and his winning vote is a huge slap in the face of the current coalition partners who are pro-EU. Like the 2005 EU Constitution elections, I believe this is more a sign of general unhappiness of the Dutch with the current political state of being in the country and the EU. That's what I think though, not saying I'm an expert on the subject matter. The Dutch being a bunch of intolerant racists is probably just as likely.
If you voted, care to share who? I voted Newropeans which yes is a very lulztastic name and yes, they have a rubber duckie logo, but they're actually pretty cool. Unfortunately, they don't stand a chance to even get half a seat.