Welcome to the Guardian’s live blog of the 2017 Dutch elections – we’ll be covering developments throughout the night and into tomorrow, bringing you live news from the Netherlands as it happens. . . .
Why do we care about this election?
It’s the first of three key European votes this year in which populist parties are hoping to match the success of Britain’s leave campaign and the victory of Donald Trump in the United States. France will go to the polls to elect a new president next month, while a general election in Germany is due in September.
The conservative prime minister, Mark Rutte, leader of the Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) is up against the far-right, anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders, leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV).
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