Morning-after headache for the Dutch

Dutch politics is in confusion today following mixed signals from voters in yesterday’s general election. No two parties can form a majority government and the formation of a coalition cabinet is going to be difficult and complicated.

The bigger than expected gains for both the ‘extreme’ left Socialist Party (SP) and Geert Wilders’ ‘extreme’ right-wing anti-immigrant Party for Freedom (PVV) have added to what many political commentators and politicians are describing as a chaotic situation.
While all three major parties – Christian Democrats, Labour (PvdA) and the free market Liberals (VVD) – lost support, the CDA has emerged as the biggest party for the third time in a row. At the same time, analysts agree that an overall shift to the left indicates dissatisfaction with the policies of the outgoing CDA/VVD coalition.
On top of this, both the right and left wing flanks have become fragmented. On the right, the spectacular nine seats won by the new PVV means Wilders is insisting on political recognition.
But the flamboyant leader was already accusing his political colleagues of a creating a ‘cordon sanitaire’ around his party during the tv debate which followed the election results last night.
Meanwhile the tripling of the SP vote has splintered the left wing of the political spectrum. And the SP is not considered an easy bedfellow when it comes to forming a coalition.

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