Incumbent holds off anti-immigrant populist in Dutch elections

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_NED170303aa001.jpegTHE HAGUE, Netherlands — Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s center-right party decisively beat back a challenge from anti-immigrant populist candidate Geert Wilders in the nation’s parliamentary elections Wednesday, exit polls showed, in a closely watched vote many saw as a key test of the appeal of Donald Trump-style populism in Western Europe.

With about half the vote counted, Mr. Rutte’s center-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) was projected to finish first with 32 seats, while Mr. Wilders‘ nationalist, anti-Islam Party for Freedom (PVV) significantly trailed in third place with 19 seats in the 150-seat lower house of Parliament. The CDA Christian Democrats were projected to win 20 seats.

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