Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

Dutch Elections Results Thread

by Bjinse Wed Mar 15th, 2017 at 10:18:00 PM EST

UPDATED 17-03-2017
Final results:


(source)

Summary so far: by not losing dramatically, another solid win for marketista smiley-face Rutte (VVD), who will take the lead in forming his third government. Labour abandoned: social democratic big tent in tatters. Dutch politics likely to become Belgian: Don't expect a new government before the summer.

Two parties have potential to act as kingmaker for a VVD-D66-CDA government: Christian party CU (economic left and green, but moral blowhards) or Greens.

Comment freely and discuss.


Display:
If these will be the final results, minimally four parties will be needed to form a new government. A strong liberal alliance of VVD-D66-CDA has the most potential, but at current standing, they're seats short of a necessary majority both in parliament and the Senate.

Greens, after spluttering about hopelessly a few years back, have shown a stellar comeback, led by its new popular, young frontman - but his trend in the polls of the past weeks was bigger than the results of the exit polls. However, it is the most likely candidate to be asked to join a coalition - but VVD and Greens are nearly polar opposites, and Greens would become the junior partner in such a coalition. I suspect that the leverage it may gain will not be outweighed by the necessary compromises or sacrifices. But we'll see.

Labour, with a crushing defeat and a mere 9 seats remaining, is left completely marginalized. Voters have utterly rejected the party for its blithe partnership with Rutte in 2012. Additionally, to me it looks the party was eaten out on all sides: by immigrant-party DENK (which began as a Labour break-away party), by pensioner-party 50+, by the Greens and by D66 who likely captured part of the right wing of the party. As Miguel put it to me: the Big Tent coalition of social democracy is plundered by better alternatives.

Wilders is set to become the biggest opposition party. He always was going to be, anyway, no matter what the foreign press was keen to senselessly speculate, no matter how many seats he'd get. So are we waving our flags on the streets and cheer how frothing populism was finally stemmed and we can now merrily march into a glorious sunset of an ever closer Union? Nah. VVD and CDA, and several other parties, have heavily lifted on Wilder's sentiments, with the occasional dog-whistle to boot.

Biggest loser tonight: sanity.

by Bjinse on Wed Mar 15th, 2017 at 10:53:51 PM EST
So are we waving our flags on the streets and cheer how frothing populism was finally stemmed and we can now merrily march into a glorious sunset of an ever closer Union?

Well congratulations on saving Europe like we did in Austria by voting less than 50% far-right. The European press has gone completely bonkers with its populism story line.

by generic on Wed Mar 15th, 2017 at 11:21:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On a superficial reading, Rutte can thank Erdogan for an unlikely comeback.

Groenlinks would have to be suicidal to enter into coalition. Considering what happened to Labour, and to just about any junior coalition partner anywhere, ever. (Except maybe the SPD?)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 15th, 2017 at 11:28:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - Dutch Elections Results Thread
(Except maybe the SPD?)  

Right now, I think there is a Schulz effect. And he has the advantage of not being in the crrent government. The question is if this is a temporary increase that will have run its course long before the election in September.

Schulz is also anti-austerity, but I'm not sure how much that will change even if he wins. Best case for SPD now is a grand coalition chaired by them instead of CDU (unless they are willing to try red-red-green), and though the Chancellor is important so are many other in the cabinet.

by fjallstrom on Thu Mar 16th, 2017 at 08:23:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some press reporting here saw Wilders and Rutte competing to form the largest party, so will Rutte's large lead be seen as a major victory for "mainstream" politics?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Mar 16th, 2017 at 01:55:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it is presented as such - but anyone crunching the numbers can see it ain't true.

Parties who campaigned on a populist agenda all gained seats: PVV, pension-party 50+, both immigrant-party DENK (which is using the same antagonistic style like Wilders) and anti-EU party FvD are newcomers to the Parliament.

That's 20 + 4 + 3 + 2 = 29 populist MPs now. From different backgrounds and tastes, yes, but populist campaigners none the same. And they've gained 12 seats this election. This is not mainstream politics: the politic landscape continues to splinter and add more extremes.

It's the reason why I wrote in my comment above that sanity is the biggest loser this election.

by Bjinse on Fri Mar 17th, 2017 at 04:02:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there any tradition of forming Minority Governments in Holland, kept in place by other parties abstaining or supporting specific policy proposals?  In Ireland Fine Gael (with only 50 out of 158 seats in Parliament) have formed the smallest minority government ever because Fianna Fail, the other centre right party (44 seats), refused to coalesce with them, but instead chose to abstain on key votes. With Fianna Fail abstaining, only 57 seats are required for a majority, so Fine Gael formed a government with the support of a few independents.

The government has survived for over a year now - although it is hardly the most dynamic Government and Fine Gael Leader and Prime Minister, Enda Kenny is set to retire following unrest among his own party members. Fianna Fail negotiated a reasonably detailed policy programme in return for their support and have to be consulted whenever a new crisis arises.  Fine Fail have recently risen above Fine Gael in opinion polls, so the arrangement doesn't appear to have damaged them electorally.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Mar 16th, 2017 at 01:53:48 AM EST
Rutte I was a minority government, with support from PVV. It collapsed in 2012 when austerity reared. I suspect both Rutte and CDA will not be in favour to try it again. Secondly,Rutte II has shown that government parties also need support in the Senate - or the Senate will becomw politicised. They needed a deal with 3 opposition parties to get going again.

So I'd think the likelihood on a minority government will be small.

by Bjinse on Thu Mar 16th, 2017 at 09:44:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there a conceivable three party coalition? Numerically, the Greens and Labour with VVD would have a majority, as would VVD with the Christian Democrats and Democrats 66. But I have no idea who is compatible with whom and why. And what is the composition of the Senate.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2017 at 04:07:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rutte wins by losing 10 seats and Wilders loses by gaining 4?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Mar 16th, 2017 at 02:06:11 AM EST
PVV and VVD have gained a few more seats during the tally. But that's the dominant feeling: despite Rutte's loss he gained the upper hand in a contest with Wilders' populism - partly because VVD adopted a Wilders-lite approach on immigration.
by Bjinse on Thu Mar 16th, 2017 at 09:33:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It looks like the new government will have to be a three party coalition. Will Labour stay in the coalition? If so, who will they add? Green Left and the Socialist party would be a solid majority, while just the Green Left would be narrow. Green Left and Socialist could replace Labour in a new three party left alliance. Rutte does seem to style himself as leftist. But is that coalition conceivable?

What are the political possibilities? Can a coalition bind itself to certain policies so as to protect the smaller parties in the coalition? And how, other than by threatening to leave the coalition, could such an agreement be enforced?


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2017 at 04:08:58 AM EST
Rutte does seem to style himself as leftist.

Where did you get that from? Rutte is one of the proponents of the austerity orthodoxy. His finance minister is the public face of the troika.

by generic on Thu Mar 16th, 2017 at 07:51:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He referred to having a left or progressive government, which it has been by comparison to Wilders - if only by that comparison. I agree it is posturing and posing. The Clintons have performed the same acts in different plays.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2017 at 03:48:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
is a VVD-D66-CDA block, either supplemented with a 4th party for a majority, or a minority government. As I pointed out to Frank above, a minority government is a far less likely scenario, because the VVD-CDA tested the waters in 2010 with that, and it backfired.

Socialist Party has ruled out forming a government with VVD, they're out of the game. Labour has been devastated, scratch them off as well.

A coalition formation will take months and is the one period where the Netherlands are truly governed - in the sense that long term plans are decided on. The coming months parties will negotiate intensely, compromising this or sacrificing that of their programmes, the end results are put to paper - and that programme is the bedrock of governmental policy for the next years for all coalition parties involved.

And as generic pointed out, Rutte is hardcore economic liberal, and D66 and CDA are not much different at this point. With the counterweight of Labour gone, I expect to see policies that will steer the nation on a very business friendly path, heading for a Randian future, in other words: further erosion of the welfare state.

by Bjinse on Fri Mar 17th, 2017 at 04:16:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More neo-lib brain rot then...
Sipping champagne in the bunker, true to form.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2017 at 12:06:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the early update. As I wrote in my previous diary, it is the splintering of the party representative system that is relevant, not Wilders. I did not expect Wilders to come out with only 13% of the votes, but a governing solution remains elusive all the same.

The nature of the French system is masking this effect to some extent; however, most other democracies in Europe are structured much closer to the Dutch model. I expect a similar parliamentary conundrum to emerge in Germany later on.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2017 at 09:57:02 AM EST
The 5% threshold (not present in the Netherlands) may discourage this to some extent.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Mar 16th, 2017 at 10:02:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the Splintering is certainly coming to France too.

Whatever the presidential outcome, it's going to be a four-way (at best!) battle for the legislatives :

  • FN (seriously handicapped by the two-round system, they will be under-represented, even if Le Pen wins
  • The Republicans
  • En Marche = EM = Emmanuel Macron, conceivably the largest group in parliament
  • Hamon's PS and Mélenchon's Insoumis (who are condemned to form an alliance for the legislatives, despite the murder/suicide pact fot the presidential election).

Given the certainty of no overall majority, and since all of the above except Les Republicains are committed to proportional representation in some form, this June is probably the last legislative election to be held in France with the two-round system.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Mar 16th, 2017 at 09:38:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There was talk of a Hamon-Mélenchon deal just after Hamon won PS primary. What did it founder on?
by fjallstrom on Thu Mar 16th, 2017 at 10:50:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe, ostensibly. Hamon wants to refound the European treaties, put a stop to the austerity suicide pact, institute a Eurozone parliament, etc. Mélenchon claims to want all this, but insists on the necessity of "Plan B" (see last weekend's GUE-NGL summit in Rome), meaning basically breaking up the Euro and instituting protectionism on a country by country basis, since they are convinced that it will be impossible to reform the existing arrangements.

In terms of domestic politics, Mélenchon dreams of finishing ahead of the PS, then basically kicking it to death in the legislatives. I've had dealings with the PS instead, so of course I also dream of shrinking it until it's small enough to drown in the bathtub. But this isn't the moment... there was a real boulevard there, the possibility of being elected on a truly radical program, and it's all going to come to nothing. Colour me grumpy.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Mar 16th, 2017 at 11:35:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as the presidential election is concerned, the main problem seems mathematical.  With both Hamon and Mélenchon polling c. 12-14%, the problem is who should make way for whom? They are too evenly matched.  The irony is that if they could agree and their voters all supported the agreed candidate, the agreed candidate could poll c. 25% - up there with Le Pen and Macron, and with a good chance of making the 2nd. round where they could almost certainly beat Le Pen.  So much for leftist politics being about policies, not personalities... As things stand, they are effectively handing the Presidency to Macron.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Mar 17th, 2017 at 01:10:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Don't fight over the future, that will bring about the opposite of what we want. Converge!

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Mar 17th, 2017 at 08:05:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
While not discounting the importance of personality I wouldn't discount the policy difference either. Syrizia got elected with a clear mandate against the Eurogroup dictate​ but not for a break. They were also internally divided and no faction had a clear plan. They brought a Latte to a gunfight. Now while France is not Greece a clear strategy of how to deal with the conflict with the institutions, European and otherwise is essential. Furthermore I certainly can understand the reluctance to shackle oneself to the old centre left parties, especially when looking at the UK labour party. Add to that the damage you get for your populist project when being seen to collaborate with the "establishment". On the other hand Hamon did win a party primary on the assumption he would lead them in the election. I don't see how he could drop out either.
by generic on Fri Mar 17th, 2017 at 09:32:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All fair points, and my comment applies only to a short term tactical alliance for the Presidential election, not to the subsequent legislative elections, nor indeed to future campaigns.  I suspect the "policy" differences you mention could be overcome/papered over if, say, one candidate was on 15%+ and the other in single figures - i.e. with a wide enough gap to give a clear indication as to who should step down, who had no chance, and who's best option was to wring policy concessions from the other in return for their standing down and support.  The most difficult negotiations are nearly always between two parties of roughly equal strength, as both are trying to gain the upper hand.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Mar 17th, 2017 at 11:21:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All true, but even a short term alliance is risky. In a way more risky than in the legislative elections. Symbolically it means giving up your movement's claim to power.
by generic on Fri Mar 17th, 2017 at 01:58:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See above my comment to Frank - with two more radical parties having entered Parliament, the Dutch political landscape continues to splinter.

All political junkies expect that coalition formation will take us beyond this summer. There is no immediate pressure to form a new government: economy is doing fine, there is a budget surplus, no major EU crisis at the door. Lots of ritual mating dances to be done first.

by Bjinse on Fri Mar 17th, 2017 at 04:22:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is Wilders unique amongst anti-immigration Euro parties in his attitude to the EU?
Does he have any social or economic policies of note, or an Islamophobic one-trick pony?
Le Pen and Salvini are half-xenophobic, half anti-bankster/EU-as-is. The only media about Wilders I see -apart from the distinctive pompadour- is racist paranoia with no frills.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2017 at 11:15:42 AM EST
His platform includes lowering rents (no details on how), lowering taxes, no funding for windmills (I can't tell from the dutch if he really means wind turbines. Banning windmills is probably very anti-Dutch), eliminate medical deductibles, and restore the retirement age to 65. Does this count?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Mar 16th, 2017 at 11:25:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No and no. But he is unique in his rhetoric and extremism. In every analysis of the PVV voting pattern of last years, the PVV is positioned economically hard right, covered by a poor paintjob to appeal to some populist sounding leftish points. He has campaigned before on an anti-EU stance and on changing the healthcare sustem, these resulted in relative election duds.

His anti-Islam shtick has thus become de facto the only pony that gave him relative success. Which is why it has become the topic he talks about most often.

by Bjinse on Thu Mar 16th, 2017 at 02:20:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another take from French journalist Romaric Godin:

I won't translate everything; in short: the real winners are the Greens who quadrupled their seats and D66 with SP staying more or less level.

While everybody in Europe was focusing on Wilders, Islam, Turkey and so-called "identity politics", the Dutch voters quietly punished the EZ austerity policies, starting with Jeroen Dijsselbloem's PvdA.

Le problème de beaucoup de Néerlandais n'est pas l'Islam ou l'immigration, c'est bien leur niveau de vie. C'est ce qu'ils ont exprimé dans les urnes ce 15 mars.
(The main issue for many Dutch is not Islam or immigration, but their standard of living. This is what they expressed at the ballot box this 15 March.)

Godin goes on highlighting yet another "Soc-Dem rout", following Irish Labour or PASOK, adding that it should make many "modern left" pols think twice before pushing for "structural reforms" and austerity "for the good of the people".

by Bernard on Thu Mar 16th, 2017 at 08:50:05 PM EST


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Mar 17th, 2017 at 07:48:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can the Dutch just remove him so easily? Can't the EU do with him what they just did with Poland?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Mar 17th, 2017 at 07:57:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, since the Eurogroup technically doesn't exist, I suppose they could just haul any bum off the street and make him boss. But since it is made up of finance ministers of the Eurozone, it would be hard to keep him if he's not in the government coalition.

But I suppose Labour might stay in government. Handy scapegoat for the right, and what have they got to lose by staying?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Mar 17th, 2017 at 08:10:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Eurogroup is now formally established under the Lisbon Treaty and could appoint a chair who is not a serving finance minister if it wanted (thus mirroring the European Council whose President is also no longer a serving Prime Minister). In fact Dijsselbloem is probably toast unless they do so, because it seems unlikely the Labour party could retain the Finance ministry in Holland with such a small share of the vote.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Mar 17th, 2017 at 11:35:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They were formally established as an informal group.

Eurogroup - Wikipedia

Article 1: The Ministers of the Member States whose currency is the euro shall meet informally. Such meetings shall take place, when necessary, to discuss questions related to the specific responsibilities they share with regard to the single currency. The Commission shall take part in the meetings. The European Central Bank shall be invited to take part in such meetings, which shall be prepared by the representatives of the Ministers with responsibility for finance of the Member States whose currency is the euro and of the Commission.

Article 2: The Ministers of the Member States whose currency is the euro shall elect a president for two and a half years, by a majority of those Member States.

-- Protocol 14 of the Consolidated Treaties of the European Union (as amended by the Treaty of Lisbon)[13]

by fjallstrom on Fri Mar 17th, 2017 at 11:41:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for initiating a good thread discussion on a very topical issue.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Mar 17th, 2017 at 01:18:36 AM EST


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries