All of the votes in the provincial council elections have now been officially counted, and GroenLinks has come out on top: the party is now set to have six seats in the Groningen council.
UPDATE: 8:19 a.m., Saturday, 23 March
Forum for Democracy has gained one more seat in the provincial council at Party for the Animals’ expense. The populist party will now have five seats, as will the Labour Party. GroenLinks remains the largest faction with six votes. Party for the Animals will only have one seat.
Original story follows below
The Groninger Internet Courant reports that the progressive GroenLinks will be the largest party in the council after all. The Labour Party (PvdA) will likely hang on to their five seats, but the far right, anti-immigrant Forum for Democracy is now set to only have four seats. But more shifting of seats is still possible: the definitive seat allocation will be announced on 25 March. The seat distribution in Friesland and Drenthe appears to be the same as initially predicted on Thursday morning.
The current coalition in the Groningen provincial council – the Socialist Party, D66, CDA, ChristenUnie and GroenLinks – will have 20 seats among them, which is not enough for a majority voting bloc: there are 43 seats in the Groningen council.
Even though the climate change denying Forum for Democracy gained a lot of seats in their provincial debut, the party is in favour of continuing with gas extraction operations in the province, which GroenLinks and the other coalition parties oppose. The VVD and SP are also on opposite sides of the gas extraction debate, which makes the VVD’s chances of joining the coalition equally slim.
In addition to voting on provincial-level issues, the provincial council also appoints members to the Dutch senate, which can accept or reject legislative proposals. Forum for Democracy’s performance across the country changes the calculus in the senate (Eerste Kamer) as well, and prime minister Mark Rutte will likely need the support of more left wing parties now to ensure that the parliamentary agenda can be carried out.
In the five water board districts in the north, Water Natuurlijk was the biggest winner overall. The party’s priorities are “nature, landscape and recreation”.
Still a little unclear on what the water boards actually do? Check out the episode of our podcast, Econ 050, all about this uniquely Dutch branch of government.
Noorderzijlvest: Groningen, Drenthe and Friesland
Water Natuurlijk (6 seats out of 16)
Fryslan: Friesland and Groningen
CDA, Water Natuurlijk and PvdA (Labour) (3 seats a piece out of 18)
Hunze and Aas: Groningen and Drenthe
Water Natuurlijk (5 seats out of 16)
Drents Overijsselse Delta: Drenthe and Overijssel
Water Natuurlijk (5 seats out of 21)
Vechtstromen: Drenthe, Gelderland and Overijssel
Water Natuurlijk (6 seats out of 20)
Photo source: Nienke Homan from Alex Wiersma/Wikipedia
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