THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - Conservative incumbent leader Mark Rutte was likely to form a coalition with the Labor party following a major election victory seen as confirmation of Dutch voters' support for the European Union.
In a boost for EU unity in fighting the continent's debt crisis, the two mainstream pro-EU parties defeated the Socialist party and euroskeptic populist Geert Wilders, whose party suffered big losses.
In provisional results with 98 percent of votes counted early Thursday, Rutte's VVD surged to 41 seats in the 150-member Dutch Parliament and could theoretically form a two-party coalition with the center-left Labor party of Diederik Samsom, which pushed up its tally of seats to 39.
An elated Rutte says, "people, people, this is a strong boost."
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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