In their debut on the provincial level, the conservative Eurosceptic party Forum for Democracy (FvD) has shaken up the political scene in the north. FvD won the second most votes in Friesland, and was among the top three in Groningen and Drenthe.
Translation by Traci White
The new political party did not win the most votes in any province: CDA will remain the biggest party in the Frisian provincial council, the Labour party (PvdA). But in Groningen and Friesland, Forum for Democracy (FvD) is looking likely to be in the top three in terms of seats: GroenLinks, the Labour Party and FvD all won 5 seats in Groningen, and VVD, Labour and FvD secured six seats a piece in Drenthe.
Similar to the Dutch Parliament, parties in the provincial councils – who ultimately appoint members of the Eerste Kamer (Upper Chamber) – have to form coalitions in order to govern. The winners of the water board elections have not yet been published, but with most municipalities now reporting in, the Leeuwarder Courant and Dagblad van het Noorden are reporting the following provincial council election outcomes:
VVD and PvdA each lost one seat in comparison to the 2015 provincial elections, and that was a general trend for most other parties this year in the province: CDA, PVV, SP and D66 all lost at least one seat. FvD went from 0 to 6, but progressive leftwing parties also made gains: GroenLinks went from two seats to four, and the Party for the Animals (PvdD) went from 0 to 1. ChristenUnie, Sterk Lokaal, and 50Plus all maintained the current number of seats (3, 1 and 1, respectively).
As was also the case in 2015, CDA was the biggest winner in Friesland, even though they lost one seat: the party will now have 8 seats in the provincial council. The Labour Party also performed well, even though they also lost one seat and are now down to 6. Forum for Democracy also gained six seats in the Frisian debut. But GroenLinks (or, as it is spelled in Friesland, GrienLinks) also had a good night, gaining three seats for a total of four. ChristenUnie (3), 50Plus (1) and Party for the Animals (1) maintained their current numbers, but the VVD, Socialist Party, D66 and PVV all lost at least one seat.
In Groningen, the party which appears to have lost the most seats is the traditionally strong Socialist Party, going from 8 to 4. The party’s loss looks to have been FvD’s gain – along with the Labour Party and GroenLinks, Forum is set to have 5 seats in the provincial council. VVD and ChristenUnie will maintain four seats a piece, and CDA went from 5 seats to 4. Groninger Belang and the PVV also hung on to their current three seats. D66 now has two seats (down from four), Party for the North now has 2, and Party for the Animals and 50Plus each have one seat.