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Conservatives, Rightwing Parties Prevail in Dutch Vote - 2002-05-15

Early voter exit polls indicate center-right Christian Democrats will win Dutch parliamentary elections, unseating the leftwing coalition of Prime Minister Wim Kok.

The polls show the Christian Democratic Union winning at least 41 of 150 parliamentary seats.

In an even bigger upset, the new, anti-immigration party of slain far-right leader Pim Fortuyn is expected to win 26 parliamentary seats, beating Mr. Kok's Labor Party and the liberal People's Party for Freedom and Democracy.

Dutch media reports say voter dissatisfaction with mainstream politicians and their failure to solve problems such as immigration sparked the sharp turn to the right.

The right-wing advance in the Netherlands follows recent right-wing gains in Italy, France, Denmark, Britain and Portugal.