Thursday 07 July 2022

In Rotterdam, Leefbaar are far and away the winners – again

Leefbaar Rotterdam members celebrate the win at cafe Get Back. Photo: Robin Utrecht ANP

In Rotterdam, local party Leefbaar Rotterdam remains by far the biggest party on the 45-seat city council with 11 seats, or 21.3% of the vote. Leefbaar, founded by murdered far right politician Pim Fortuyn, has been taking a more moderate tone since it was shut out of local government in 2018.

The city is currently governed by an unlikely liberal-socialist-Christian alliance of six parties – the VVD, GroenLinks, D66, PvdA, CDA and the ChristenUnie-SGP.

This time round, the VVD and GroenLinks both win five seats, while D66, the PvdA and Denk are all on four. Four parties have won two seats – the pro-animal PvdD and 50+, while newcomers Bij1 and Volt also have two. Far right Forum voor Democratie has won one seat.

Leefbaar leader Robert Simons will take the lead in forming a new coalition, but has so far remained quiet about who his favourite partners are. During the campaign no parties ruled out working with Leefbaar – and if they do, seven or eight parties will be needed to form a workable coalition.

‘We were the biggest and we’re still the biggest, which is very nice,’ Simons said after the votes were counted. ‘The low turnout is bad news for all parties, but the voters are the boss.’

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