European elections kick off in NL, UK

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The European Parliament elections start today, with the Netherlands joining Great Britain as the first member states to vote. The two candidates drawing the most attention are Euro-phobes Geert Wilders of the PVV and Nigel Farage of UKIP.  Almost 13 million Dutch people are eligible to vote today, poll stations were open from 7:30 a.m. this morning. There are 26 candidates for European Parliament.

According to the Algemeen Dagblad, the polls have been diverging greatly. Some polls claim the PVV will be the biggest party. If that happens, it will be the first time that Wilders' party is the biggest in the country. Other polls call liberal D66 or Christian Democrats CDA for the win. The polls predict a similar voter turnout this year to that of 2009. At that time, only 36.5 percent of those eligible to vote actually did so. In the UK, Nigel Farage and his UK Independence Party, who are pleading for an EU-exit, are also predicted to be the biggest party. The results of the election for the two countries will be announced on Sunday, after the last polling stations have closed in the European Union. An exit-poll will take place in the Netherlands on Thursday. The other 26 member states can vote Friday through Sunday. In total, across Europe, almost 400 people can vote this week to decide upon the share of the 751 seats in the European Parliament. For the first time, the results of the elections can also influence the question who will replace José Manuel Barrosco this Autumn as president of the European Commission.

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