MARK Rutte may be ahead in the exit polls but the Netherlands prime minister will not be celebrating a victory of gigantic proportions as the early indicators show he has lost a quarter of the vote.
According to analysts, Mr Rutte’s centrist cum conservative People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy party have taken 31 seats so far in this controversial election but this is a far cry from his 2012 numbers.
Mr Rutte’s party took 41 seats at the last election securing him the role as the prime minister of the Netherlands.
But his party has lost as many as 10 seats or 24 per cent taking his actual vote share to just 20 per cent.
There are 150 seats in the Dutch parliament and Mr Rutte’s party has taken just 31 of them so far, according to pollsters.
But that is a substantial loss for the centrist politician who has fought a hard campaign against far right candidate Geert Wilders.
There is a significant amount of unrest in the Netherlands over the European Migrant crisis and as many as 82 per cent of the population cast their vote today.
Mr Wilders party has taken 19 seats so far giving him four more seats however the actual results of the election are not set to be released until Tuesday.
Now Washington-based lawyer Robert Amsterdam says that the wave of populism in Europe ahead of the elections is a result of political correctness gone wrong.
Mr Amsterdam, an international lawyer with 35 years experience working on high-profile cases, says populism is on the rise because of a rejection of “cosmopolitanism”.
He said: “The rise of nationalist populism in Europe highlights the identity crisis faced by centre and centre-left parties across a number of countries as they lose touch with their natural base of middle and lower income rural working voters.
“It’s clear that Geert Wilders and other anti-immigrant nationalists in Europe feel emboldened by the US election outcome and, in some cases, have been seen to be financially or strategically supported by Russia.
Klaas Dijkhoff, a senior official in Rutte’s party and secretary of state for migration, told broadcaster NOS that his party does not feel defeated by the early indicators.
He said: “All parties gained, except for us, but we are still happy,”“We had difficult years and we are very happy to remain the biggest party.”
Meanwhile the Dutch Labour party has lost as many as 29 seats going from 38 to 9 according to reports.