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Exit Polls and Outrageous Folded Ballots in NL and UK

European Parliament voting is complete in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, with few surprises. Though the European Commission threatened legal action, Dutch exit polling was released last evening, indicating that Geert Wilders’ Party of Freedom, and the Liberal Democrats (D66) had picked up four and two seats respectively, while the governing Christian Democrats and coalition partner Labour had lost a combined six seats.

In the UK, local election results so far indicate a strong showing from the Liberal Dems and the Tories, who each earned four additional councilor’s chairs, at the expense of Labour. For the UK Independence Party, a bizarre “scandal” has emerged with regard to the folding style of the EP ballot. Apparently, requiring the reading of ballot instructions and/or unfolding more than one crease represents an “outrage” that undermines the fundamentals of democracy. The EP results from both countries will be officially released on Sunday, once the rest of the EU has voted.

UPDATE:As Gordon Brown remains under fire, local election results continue to trickle in from the counties. Overall, Conservatives are at +29 on councilors, +4 on councils, while Labour is -25/-1 and Liberal Dems -8/-1.

Renard Sexton is FiveThirtyEight’s international columnist and is based in Geneva, Switzerland. He can be contacted at