The anti-Islam PVV emerged as both the biggest winner and the biggest loser in Wednesday’s provincial elections.
Geert Wilder’s party will debut in the senate with 10 seats and is now the biggest party in his home province of Limburg, but it lost the most support compared with the June general election and is now in fourth place nationwide.
The provincial election results are widely seen as a referendum on Mark Rutte’s minority coalition between his conservative liberal VVD and the Christian Democrats and propped up by the PVV.
With nearly all the votes counted, the alliance is set to fall short of an overall majority in the senate by one seat, meaning it will be forced to rely on other parties to force through controversial legislation, such as education cuts.
The exact make up of the 75-seat senate will not be finalised until May 23, when the provincial councils give their vote. However, it appears as if the VVD will be the biggest party with 16, the PvdA (Labour) on 14, CDA on 11 and PVV on 10.
The liberal democrats D66 were also major gainers in the provincial vote and are set to have six seats in the senate, up from two.
Commenting on the PVV results, Wilders said: ‘The Dutchman has once again taken the PVV to its heart… Henk and Ingrid’s party is here to stay… we will give Limburg back to the Limburgers, Friesland to the Frisians and the Netherlands to the Dutch.’
The PVV is now the biggest party in 16 of the country’s 400 plus electoral areas, including Venlo, Ridderkerk, Spijkenisse and Vlaardingen.
Nevertheless, in The Hague and Almere, the only two areas where the party contested the local elections a year ago, the PVV has lost support.
Compared with the June general election, support for the VVD, CDA and PvdA is more or less unchanged. But the PVV has gone down from 15.4% to 12.8%.
If the provincial results translate to the senate as expected, the make up of the upper house would be as follows:
VVD 16 (14)
PvdA 14 (14)
CDA 11 (21)
SP 8 (12)
D66 6 (2)
Groenlinks 5 (4)
CU 2 (4)
SGP 1 (2)
PvdD 1 (1)
For the Telegraaf’s comparison of the party performances in the previous provincial elections and last year’s national vote, plus the situation in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague, click here
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