First story, people from around the world are closely watching what happens with an election in the Netherlands. With the population of just over 17 million, it's neither Europe's largest country nor its largest economy. But the vote that took place Wednesday is seen as an indicator of what people are thinking across Europe. Analysts are trying to figure out what the political trends are.
One controversial issue we've talked about in the U.S. is immigration. It's also front and center in Europe, which in recent years has faced its largest refugee crisis since the Second World War. A controversial candidate who got a lot of attention is Geert Wilders, because while he's gotten in trouble for speaking out against immigrants and Muslims, he's also gotten widespread support from people who want to tighten the Netherland's borders.
The nation's economy, the plight of its poor, its relationships with European Union and the country of Turkey, all of these are on the minds of Dutch voters and turnout was said to be high. But whatever happens in this vote, it's just a step in the long process of shaping the Netherland's government.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dutch politics is defined by its extremely long list of parties. This is anything but a two-horse race. A full 28 parties are on the ballot in this year's election.
This huge choice splits the public vote many ways, meaning no one party ever reaches the magic number of 76 seats for a majority in parliament.
Instead, they always have to build coalitions.
So, despite the fact Geert Wilders has been doing well in the polls in the run-up to this vote, at some stages even leading them, he needs the support of other parties to become prime minister. Even if he wins 30 seats, which is at the upper end of what he's predicted, he is still a long way off.
Almost all major parties have ruled out being in government, with Wilders' PVV party. The current prime minister, Mark Rutte, is one of those who have said categorically that he will not join a coalition with Geert Wilders. His center-right VVD party will need to seek out different partners if he is retained his leadership position.
The process of forming a government to sit in this parliament building in The Hague is notoriously longwinded. It took 54 days last time there was an election in 2012 and that was considered quick.
So, even once the votes are counted and we have a preliminary result expected on Thursday, it could just be the first step on a long road to deciding who governs here in the Netherlands.
Hala Gorani, CNN, Amsterdam.