Dutch voters are heading to the polls in March, the first important election in what will be a key political year in Europe. After the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump, the Netherlands will give the first indication of whether populism will shape 2017 too.
The political calendar in 2017 is already quite full. The Netherlands have their general election on March 15. France chooses its next president in May and Germany will vote for the country's chancellery in the fall. Italy is also set for fresh general elections, though the date isn't confirmed yet. Meanwhile, the European Union will be tackling two thorny issues: the U.K.'s Brexit and making sure Greece sticks to the terms of its rescue.
Analysts have been wondering how well populist parties will do in the elections. At the moment, opinion polls are projecting the anti-European Party for Freedom will win the Dutch election. However, given the fragmentation of the Dutch political scene, the party's leader, Geert Wilders, in unlikely to get a majority. A recent poll published by broadcaster NOS suggested that the party appears to have fallen slightly in the public ratings following a strong rise.
— CNBC's Silvia Amaro contributed to this article.
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