Rutte Cautions Against Populist “Experiment” in Netherlands

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte arrives for a meeting with other European leaders in Brussels, February 12, 2015
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte arrives for a meeting with other European leaders in Brussels, February 12, 2015 (European Council)

Two days before parliamentary elections, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte has reiterated his opposition to a pact with the nationalist Freedom Party, telling Geert Wilders in person that the two will “never” work together again.

Earlier on Monday, Rutte urged voters not to let the Netherlands become the “third domino” that falls to populism after Britain voted to leave the European Union and America elected Donald Trump.

“This is not the time to experiment,” he told reporters in Rotterdam. Read more

Geert Wilders Isn’t Really Interested in Governing

French and Dutch nationalist party leaders Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders deliver a news conference in Brussels, June 16, 2015
French and Dutch nationalist party leaders Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders deliver a news conference in Brussels, June 16, 2015 (European Parliament)

The absence of a serious manifesto did not suggest that the Netherlands’ Geert Wilders had any intention of governing after the election on Wednesday. Now two former elected officials of his Freedom Party have confirmed that he isn’t interested in power — especially the responsibility that comes with it. Read more

Wilders Bleeds Support to Christian Democrats, Socialists

Dutch Christian Democrat leader Sybrand van Haersma Buma arrives in Brussels for a summit of European conservative party leaders, October 15, 2015
Dutch Christian Democrat leader Sybrand van Haersma Buma arrives in Brussels for a summit of European conservative party leaders, October 15, 2015 (EPP)

I reported here the other day that Geert Wilders’ nationalist Freedom Party is losing support in the Netherlands.

Now we know where his voters are going.

The national broadcaster NOS reports that the nationalists are bleeding support to the Christian Democrats on the one hand and the far-left Socialists on the other. Read more

Polls Point to Six Possible Coalitions in Netherlands

Dutch government buildings in The Hague, March 29, 2015
Dutch government buildings in The Hague, March 29, 2015 (Pixabay/Unsplash)

No single party is projected to win a majority in the Dutch parliament next week. Parties will need to team up to form a coalition government.

Polls suggest there are six options: Read more

Dutch Anti-Wilders Could Face Dilemma After the Election

Dutch Green party leader Jesse Klaver makes a speech in Utrecht, November 20, 2016
Dutch Green party leader Jesse Klaver makes a speech in Utrecht, November 20, 2016 (GroenLinks)

The Guardian has a good story about the somewhat surprising rise of the Green party in the Netherlands.

The Greens had been up in the polls for a while, but their popularity usually falls when center-left voters defect to the Labor Party in the weeks leading up to an election.

That isn’t happening this year. The Greens are climbing while Labor is bracing for an historic defeat. Read more

Invisible and Unhinged, Wilders Loses Support in Netherlands

Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders listens during a news conference in Brussels, June 16, 2015
Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders listens during a news conference in Brussels, June 16, 2015 (European Parliament)

Geert Wilders’ strategy of not showing up isn’t doing his Freedom Party much good.

Support for the party, which wants to take the Netherlands out of the European Union and stop immigration from Muslim countries, has gone down in the polls from a 21-percent high in December to 16 percent today. Read more

Left-Wing Pact in Netherlands Hinges on Centrist Ambitions

Dutch Christian Democrat Sybrand van Haersma Buma speaks at a summit of European conservative party leaders in Brussels, March 17, 2016
Dutch Christian Democrat Sybrand van Haersma Buma speaks at a summit of European conservative party leaders in Brussels, March 17, 2016 (EPP)

The most likely outcome of the parliamentary elections in the Netherlands this month is another centrist coalition government led by Mark Rutte, the incumbent prime minister.

But the polls do show there is another possibility: a center-left government of five parties.

This is the wish of the Green party and far-left Socialists, who are polling at 10 and 8 percent support, respectively.

Labor, which is also polling at 8 percent — down from 25 percent in the 2012 election — could probably be persuaded to join such a pact.

The question is if the Christian Democrats and liberal Democrats would. Read more