As Mr Balkenende's Christian Democrats and Wouter Bos's Labour party traded blame for the government's collapse, the victors appeared to be the smaller parties. Not least among them was the Party for Freedom of Geert Wilders, the anti-immigration politician.
Opinion polls suggest that Mr Wilders's party could win up to 24 of the 150 seats in parliament, up from nine. The party is likely to beat Labour to second place, with the Christian Democrats keeping the top spot.
That raises the prospect of a European government forming a coalition with a party with policies that include "encouraging" Muslim immigrants to return to their countries of origin, banning the construction of mosques and withdrawing the vote in local elections from non-Dutch citizens.
Monday, February 22, 2010
But, there's a twist, per the Financial Times: