With six political parties all winning between ten and sixteen per cent of the vote in the provincial elections in the Netherlands, the Dutch political landscape has never been so divided, writes The Daily Herald.
The results of the vote, which saw the VVD remain the largest party, will also make it difficult for the cabinet to put together a new alliance to ensure controversial legislation gets passed in the Senate.
VVD Parliamentary lead-er Halbe Zijlstra said he could imagine a situation in which the main coalition works with different coalitions. With six parties so close together in the elections “none of them can avoid taking responsibility,” he said. “The bottom line is that the country has to be governed.” Provincial councillors vote for the 75 senators in May, and the ruling coalition is likely only to control 21 seats.
Both democrats D66 and the Christian Democrats, who came third and second in the vote, made it clear on Wednesday night that they want to see tax cuts in return for support. Smaller parties, such as GroenLinks and the pro-animal PvdD, also said they will be constructive but not uncritical.
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold said plans need to be made before the summer to ensure a proper budget can be presented to Parliament in September. “Rutte, take over the leadership and sort it out,” Pechtold is quoted as saying by broadcaster Nos.
The Financieele Dagbladsaid in its editorial that Dutch politics has become so splintered the country needs to reform its political system to remain governable.
The biggest loser of the night was the ruling Labour party. The social democrats are likely to have just eight seats in the senate from May, a loss of six. “Our battle continues,” a defiant Labour leader Diederik Samsom told supporters in Amsterdam. “We lost, but we have not been beaten.”
Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam PVV failed to capitalise on the rise of radical Islam and lost support for the fourth election in a row. The PVV will have nine seats in the new-look Senate, a loss of one, having captured around 11 per cent of the vote.
The VVD is the outright biggest party in six provinces: Drenthe, Noord Holland, Zuid Holland, Flevoland, Gelderland and Noord Brabant.
The CDA are the biggest party in four provinces: Friesland, Overijssel, Zeeland and Limburg. The CDA overtook the PVV to become the biggest party in Wilders’ home territory of Limburg.
The Socialists dominate in Groningen, where the earthquakes and natural gas extraction were the main issues in the cam-paign.
D66 was again the largest party in Amsterdam and narrowly beat the VVD to become the biggest party in Utrecht.