Coalition loses senate majority, VVD and Forum both have 12 senators

The senate

As expected, the coalition government has lost its majority in the upper house of parliament, but the ruling VVD and new party Forum voor Democratie both have 12 senators each.

Forum had been forecast to win 13 senate seats when the  570 provincial councillors and 19 officials from the Dutch Caribbean dependencies elected the 75 new members of the senate on Monday.

The senate vote is a complicated system, involving a lot of horse trading behind the scenes to try and sew up the votes of parties who won’t get enough support to enter the upper house and the ‘extra’ votes of parties with a guaranteed number of seats.

Monday’s results may mean some votes which had been expected to go to Forum went to other parties, pundits said.

The vote puts the four-party coalition government on 32 seats, six short of the majority it needs to pass controversial legislation without the agreement of opposition parties.

Both the green party GroenLinks and Labour (PvdA) have enough senators to give the government a majority when needed, as well as Forum.

The biggest party traditionally supplies the leader of the senate, but Forum, which won most votes in the provincial elections, has not yet named a senate leader.

Senate results

VVD – right-wing Liberal – 12 (13)
CDA – Christian Democrat – 9 (12)
D66  – Liberal Democrats – 7 (10)
CU – orthodox Protestant – 4 (3)
PVV – far-right – 5 (9)
PvdA  – Social Democrats – 6 (8)
GroenLinks – green –  8 (4)
Socialists – 4 (9)
SGP – orthodox Protestant – 2 (2)
PvdD – pro animal – 3 (2)
50PLUS – pensioners – 2 (2)
OSF – independent  1 (1)
FvD 3 – nationalist – 12 (0)

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