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Geert Wilders on Track to Become Next Prime Minister of the Netherlands

Geert Wilders

Geert Wilders, chairman of the Party for Freedom (PVV), has been celebrating on Twitter today. The reason? His party is now the biggest party in the Dutch polls. With elections coming up in March 2017, the populist politician seems to be on track to become the Netherlands' next prime minister.

According to the latest poll of Maurice de Hond, the Netherlands' most famous pollster, the PVV would become the biggest party in parliament if elections were held today (link in Dutch): they'd get 33 seats in the 150-seat lower chamber.

The PVV is the Netherlands' one and only populist party. It's more or less "conservative," although certainly not conservative on issues such as health care. Wilders is especially well-known for his criticism of Islam and Europe's open-borders policy, which he routinely -- and accurately -- describes as suicidal. His main goal is to end "the Islamization" of Europe generally and of the Netherlands specifically.

Additionally, Wilders and his party are the most Eurosceptic of all the parties currently in parliament. He is the Netherlands' very own Nigel Farage, which he once again proved earlier this year when he and his allies won the Dutch referendum on the EU's upcoming treaty with Ukraine. Wilders campaigned hard against the deal, arguing that it would eventually lead to the poor (and not entirely democratic) Eastern European country joining the European Union. Although proponents of the treaty said that would not be the case, the Dutch voter wasn't convinced. Wilders and the "no" campaign won.