BBB, VVD, and religious parties dominate provincial councils

Two more provincial governments have been finalised after months of talks, this time in Zuid-Holland and Zeeland, and so far, right-leaning and pro-Christian parties have the upper hand.

All five coalitions agreed so far include the pro-farmers BBB, which topped the poll in each of the 12 provinces, as well as the ruling right-wing Liberal VVD. Four include the Christian Democrats, despite their plunge in support, and three include the fundamentalist Protestant SGP, which believes in governance according to Biblical principles.

None of the coalitions so far include D66, the second biggest of the current coalition parties, and just one includes the left-wing GroenLinks or the Socialists.

In Zuid-Holland, which includes Rotterdam and The Hague, the BBB will join forces with the VVD, GroenLinks, Christian Democrats and Labour party (PvdA) in a coalition that crosses the political spectrum. The new coalition controls 29 of the 55 seats on the provincial council.

In Zeeland, the provincial council has a distinctive right-wing slant, with the BBB, VVD, CDA and SGP. The new alliance is both “sober and realistic”, the four parties, who control 21 of the 39 council seats, said in a joint statement.

The most controversial coalition agreed so far is that in Flevoland, in which two of the four coalition parties have joined forces with the far-right PVV and the BBB. The VVD and the left-of-centre Christian party ChristenUnie have joined the SGP in the new-look provincial authority, together with the PVV and BBB.

The Gelderland coalition is made up of the BBB,  VVD, Christian Democrats, coalition party ChristenUnie and fundamentalist Christian party SGP.

Limburg was the first of the 12 Dutch provinces to achieve an accord a week ago. The Limburg coalition is made up of the BBB plus the VVD, Christian Democrats, Labour party and the Socialists.

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