Controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders has won a massive victory in an election, positioning him to form the next ruling party and potentially become Netherland’s next prime minister.

Wilders, 60, has long been likened to the “Dutch Donald Trump,” for his brand of populist politics. But unlike the former U.S., he seemed destined to a lifetime in the opposition.

An exit poll revealing his landslide appeared to take Wilders by surprise.In his first reaction, posted in a video on X, formerly Twitter, he spread his arms wide, put his face in his hands and said simply “35!” — the number of seats an exit poll forecast his Party for Freedom, or PVV, won in the 150-seat lower house of parliament.The only time Wilders came close to governing was when he supported the first coalition formed by Prime Minister Mark Rutte in 2010. But Wilders did not formally join the minority administration and brought it down after just 18 months in office in a dispute over austerity measures. Since then, mainstream parties have shunned him.His campaign platform nonetheless calls for a referendum on the Netherlands leaving the European Union, an “asylum stop” and “no Islamic schools, Qurans and mosques,” although he pledged Wednesday night not to breach Dutch laws or the country’s constitution that enshrines freedom of religion and expression.