Hvis Geert Wilders og hans parti får like stor oppslutning ved parlamentsvalget i juni som i lokalvalget, kan han bli vanskelig å komme utenom i regjering. Innvandrertette områder var i sjokk over resultatet.

I Almere med 190.000 innbyggere og en tredel innvandrere, ble Frihetspartiet største parti.

«We are going to conquer the entire country we are going to be the biggest party in the country,» he said after the vote.

«The leftist elite still believes in multiculturalism, coddling criminals, a European superstate and high taxes. But the rest of the Netherlands thinks differently. That silent majority now has a voice.»

The Freedom Party currently has nine of the 150 seats in the Dutch parliament, and five of the country’s 25 European parliament seats. But some polls suggest it is now the most popular party in Holland, traditionally seen as a bastion of tolerance.

The Dutch political mainstream yesterday made clear its outrage at the election results. NRC Handelsblad, the Dutch newspaper of record, observing: «The Dutch political system, based on consensus and co-operation, is coming apart at the seams.»

Muslims in Almere, where one third of the 190,000 population is of immigrant origin, reacted with shock and anger to his party’s success, fearing his victory would fan animosity.

«It is terrible,» said computer sciences student Kadriye Kacar, 35, who was born in Holland but is of Turkish descent. «People are looking at us in a new way today as if they are thinking – ‘We won and you are leaving’.

«I don’t wear a headscarf normally but I have decided to start doing so now out of protest. Other people in my community are planning to do the same. We will protest until Wilders is gone.»

Det kan se ut som all trakasseringen Wilders har opplevd har skapt sympati for ham og hans parti i befolkningen.

Geert Wilders on course to be next Dutch prime minister

The far-right politician Geert Wilders is poised to become the next Dutch prime minister after making major gains in regional elections.