Dilemma for Dutch Social Democrats After Historic Defeat
Open Europe’s Vincenzo Scarpetta has called it the PASOK-ization of the Dutch Labor Party. In an historic defeat on Wednesday, the social democrats went down from 25 to 6 percent support, reducing them from the second to the seventh largest party in parliament.
The Greens and far-left Socialists, long Labor’s smaller siblings on the left, did better, winning 9 percent support each.
The result was not unexpected. Labor’s popularity fell when it formed a coalition government with the right in 2012 and never recovered.
The choice it now faces is the same for social democrats elsewhere: either attempt to lure back traditional working-class and migrant voters with an economically more populist program or double down on center-left politics that appeal to the socially progressive middle class. Read more
Election Reveals Educational Divide in Netherlands
Liberal Democrat and Green party voters in the Netherlands are more educated than supporters of the nationalist Freedom Party and far-left Socialists.
An Ipsos exit poll found that 58 and 55 percent of liberal Democrats and Greens, respectively, have graduated from college. Only 15 and 18 percent of Freedom and Socialist Party voters have. Read more
What Happens Next in the Netherlands?
As expected, no single party won a majority of the votes in the Netherlands on Wednesday. Parties must now form a coalition in parliament in order to govern. Read more
Center-Right Parties Expected to Form Government in Netherlands
Center-right parties are expected to dominate the next coalition government in the Netherlands.
If the exit poll released on Wednesday night turns out to be correct, the ruling liberal party of Mark Rutte would come close to finding a majority in the next parliament with the likeminded liberal Democrats and Christian Democrats. Read more
Dutch Mainstream Defeats Populist Geert Wilders
Prime Minister Mark Rutte won the parliamentary elections in the Netherlands on Wednesday. Preliminary results put his liberal party in the lead to form the next government.
The Christian Democrats, liberal Democrats and nationalist Freedom Party would share second place.
The Greens have overtaken Labor as the largest party on the left.
Given that all major parties have ruled out a pact with the Freedom Party, a coalition of four or five parties close to the center is expected to come to power. Read more
Optimist Rutte Asks Dutch to Reject Rival’s Pessimism
International coverage of Mark Rutte’s reelection campaign in the Netherlands has largely emphasized the ways in which he emulates Geert Wilders.
This report from The New York Times is a typical example. It claims the liberal premier has taken a “Trump-like turn” in the face of a “hard-right challenge”, siding with the “silent majority” in his country against non-natives.
It’s a little over the top but not altogether wrong. Rutte’s center-right party has adopted more repressive immigration and integration policies. It has also become more Euroskeptic since Wilders started out a decade ago.