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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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