Newsweek

How Geert Wilders Lost Power But Gained Influence

Populists helped move the nation's mainstream parties to the right and transformed political norms despite falling short at the polls.
Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders of the PVV party is surrounded by security as he votes in the general election in The Hague, Netherlands, on March 15.
03_31_Dutch_01 Source: Yves Herman/Reuters

As results flooded in after the Dutch general election, incumbent Prime Minister Mark Rutte was beaming.

The country, he said, had hit back against far-right, anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders and the hate he espoused. Wilders’s Party for Freedom came a distant second, with 20 seats, to Rutte’s People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, which

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