With most of the Netherlands (apart from Rotterdam) having now tallied their votes, Mark Rutte’s VVD is the largest party, whilst left-wing politics in the Netherlands have taken another hammering
Voting for the Dutch elections closed yesterday evening at 21:00, and today the results are being reported. Voters across the country largely backed the VVD, with the NOS currently predicting that the party will end on a total of 35 seats in the Tweede Kamer.
However the big winners of the election can be seen to be D66, led by Minister of Foreign Trade Sigrid Kaag. The centrist/liberal party looks to be on course for 24 seats, its highest ever tally. Whilst combining the VVD/D66 seat totals doesn’t quite reach the 75 needed for a majority, it is likely to make coalition-building easier.
D66’s success came at a cost for the left-wing GroenLinks, PvdA, and the Socialist Party. GroenLinks will go into the next parliament with just 7 seats (down from 14 last time), with Trudeau-alike leader Jesse Klaver saying that the party was ‘not in the running’. The Socialist Party fared little better, with 9 seats, whilst the PvdA will also have 9 seats (the PvdA had 38 seats in 2017).
The CDA, led by finance minister Wopke Hoekstra, seems to have only captured 15 seats, whilst the ChristenUnie (also part of Rutte’s last coalition) only achieved five seats.
Lots of smaller parties did well during this election: with the BoerBurgerBeweging gaining its first ever Tweede Kamer seat, and the pro-Europe party Volt gaining three seats. Unfortunately, the anti-racism party BIJ1, led by Sylvana Simons, seems to have just missed out on achieving its first ever seat.
On the reactionary side of the spectrum Geert Wilder’s PVV dropped two seats (now on 17), Thierry Baudet’s coiffed blackshirts gained six seats with a total of 8, and JA21 (the political equivalent of a tweed jacket) seem likely to have three seats in the next parliament.
Across the North
The NOS’ per-gemeente voting outcome map shows most of the Northern Netherlands bathed in VVD blue, with Mark Rutte’s party generally in the top-3 placing parties in all Northern gemeentes. Both Leeuwarden and Groningen plumped for D66, whilst northern Groningen and Friesland appear to still be a bit of a stronghold for the CDA. Unfortunately, the eastern region of Groningen seems to have turned to the far-right, with the PVV ‘winning’ the three municipalities of Oldambt, Pekela, and Westerwolde.
In Drenthe, the vast majority of gemeentes backed the VVD, though the gemeente Emmen unfortunately backed the PVV.
What does this mean for the next Dutch government?
Barring anything completely unexpected, Mark Rutte is almost guaranteed to be the next Dutch PM, with Sigrid Kaag of D66 likely to get an upgrade from her last cabinet role to one of the better-known positions. In terms of outlook, a VVD/D66 government could team up some of the smaller parties like Volt or even the PvdA to gain a majority, which would likely mean that the next Dutch government has a somewhat more left-leaning approach to social issues. However if a familiar VVD/D66/CDA coalition comes to power, we can expect very little to change.