Dutch centre-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte scored a resounding victory over anti-Islam and anti-EU Geert Wilders in a general election, offering huge relief to other governments across Europe facing a wave of nationalism.

Mr Rutte declared it an "evening in which the Netherlands, after Brexit, after the American elections, said 'stop' to the wrong kind of populism."

Mr Rutte received congratulatory messages from European leaders and spoke with some by telephone. The euro gained as the results pointed to a clear Rutte victory.

Experts said Mr Rutte won on a mix of factors, not all of which may apply to France, whose political establishment faces a challenge from a far-right populist Marine Le Pen next month.

A number of parties including Mr Rutte's VVD and the third place Christian Democrat party (CDA) have already adopted most of Mr Wilders' anti-immigration platfom, if not his fiery anti-Islam rhetoric.

Mr Rutte got a last-minute boost from a diplomatic row with Turkey, which allowed him to take a tough line on a majority Muslim country during an election campaign in which immigration and integration have been key issues.

Mr Wilders said he had not achieved the electoral victory he had hoped for but was ready to offer tough opposition.

With around 95% of votes counted, Mr Rutte's VVD Party won 33 of parliament's 150 seats, down from 41 at the last vote in 2012.

Mr Wilders was second with 20, the CDA and centrist Democrats 66 tied for third with 19 each, data provided by the ANP news agency showed.

At 78%, turnout was the highest in a decade in an election that was a test of whether the Dutch wanted to end decades of liberalism and choose a nationalist, anti-immigrant path by voting for Mr Wilders and his promise to "de-Islamicise" the Netherlands and quit the European Union.