Far-Right eurosceptic Wilders in surprise 3rd place, Dutch exit poll shows

Reuters News
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Posted: May 22, 2014 3:14 PM

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The far-right, anti-Islam Freedom Party of Eurosceptic politician Geert Wilders came third in exit polls from voters in the Dutch elections for the European Parliament, public television reported after polls closed on Thursday.

The result, if confirmed by final results on Sunday, would be a major upset for Wilders, who had been leading opinion polls for months.

Wilders' PVV party will have 12.7 percent, trailing two pro-European parties, the Christian Democrats and Democrats 66, according to the preliminary exit poll results.

The exit poll was based on interviews with 40,000 voters conducted by pollster IPSOS for Dutch public television.

Wilders, who dominated the campaign with his widely condemned call for a Netherlands with "fewer Moroccans", has said he will seek to forge alliances with other far-right parties in the Brussels assembly, including France's Front National.

The Netherlands and Britain kicked off four-days of voting across the European Union on Thursday.

(Reporting By Anthony Deutsch)