EU leaders were worried Geert Wilders would fuel Marine Le Pen triumph, says Telegraph editor

'EU leaders were worried a Geert Wilders win would have boosted Marine Le Pen', says Telegraph editor Peter Foster

EU leaders had a fear a Wilders win would boost her chances of election in May

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A leading journalist has said EU leaders were worried about a Geert Wilders victory because of fears it could boost Marine Le Pen's chances in the French elections next month.

Geert Wilders, the far-right opponent for Mark Rutte, and his Party for Freedom won only 19 seats in Thursday's election. 

Rutte's party - the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy - managed to net 31 seats. 

Peter Foster, Europe editor for the Daily Telegraph, told Paul Ross prominent EU figures were concerned about the chances of a Wilders win.

He said: "There was a thought in Europe - if you look at the outpouring of relief from Jean-Claude Juncker and Angela Merkel's chief of staff, they were clearly worried a Wilders win would have boosted Marine Le Pen. 

"She is unlikely to win the presidency, she has to get through to the final round - which she likely will. But in the past, left and right have always combined to keep out Front National candidates. 

"There was certiainly a fear if Wilders did do well, it could send a tremor ahead of the French elections these populist revolts could go further still."

Le Pen is due to contest the French presidency next month and the results will be heard in early May.