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Netherlands—Voters remain in favour of European project

Eurosceptics have been dealt a blow after Dutch voters supported the ruling pro-EU centre-right party of Prime Minister Rutte. Geert Wilders’ far right party, which campaigned against immigration, the EU and globalisation, fell well short of expectations at the 15 March general election, gaining only 13% of the vote. Rutte’s party outpolled it with 20% of the vote, and is likely to form a coalition with at least three other parties to remain in government.

There was a view that the Netherlands, a traditional proponent of the EU, would succumb to the growing anti-trade and anti-immigration movement that contributed to Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. But whilst the Dutch election outcome may have dealt a blow to the Eurosceptics, we should not discount the possibility of France’s Marine Le Pen and her National Front, who are in favour of a ‘Frexit’ referendum should they win the upcoming French presidential election. The polls currently suggest she will not become France’s next president, but pollsters did fail to predict Brexit or the US election.