Dutch Parties Haven’t Lost Popularity in Pollution Crisis
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte appears to weathering what he has described as the worst political crisis in his nine years in power.
Rutte’s four-party government is beset by protests from builders and farmers against far-reaching plans to reduce nitrogen oxide pollution.
In a bid to cut emissions, the daytime speed limit on Dutch highways is set to be reduced from 130 to 100 kilometers per hour, a measure that is hugely unpopular in Rutte’s car-friendly liberal party.
Yet it is still faraway the largest in the polls and hasn’t gone down since the pollution crisis began. Read more
Happy Little Country
The Dutch are happier than ever. Austerity is over. The immigration crisis has receded from the headlines. The government this week announced €3 billion in tax cuts and is planning a long-term investment fund worth up to €50 billion. Support for anti-establishment parties is down. Just 16 percent want to leave the EU anymore. Read more
Dutch Ruling Parties Negotiate Two Extra Senate Seats
The ruling parties in the Netherlands have managed to win an extra two seats in the Senate, giving them more room for negotiation with opposition parties.
The projection was that the four parties in Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s coalition win would thirty out of 75 seats in the upper chamber, which would have made them dependent on the Greens to pass legislation.
Now that they have 32, they can also do deals with the Labor Party, which has six. Read more
Dutch Voters Punish Euroskeptics, Give Labor Victory
Dutch voters punished Euroskeptic parties of the left and right on Thursday, according to unofficial election results and an exit poll.
The far-right Freedom Party, led by Geert Wilders, and the far-left Socialists would struggle to retain their seats in the European Parliament. The former currently has four, the latter two.
An exit poll conducted by Ipsos gives the two parties one seat each. But voting results from 732 of 9340 polling places suggest neither might qualify at all. The exit poll has a one-seat margin of error.
The official result is not announced until Sunday night, when all the EU’s 28 member states will have voted. But Dutch law requires individual polling places to read out their results on election night. Volunteers for the populist blog GeenStijl tallied the results, which were then analyzed by Ipsos’ competitor, Peil.nl. Read more
Horse-Trading Could Change Balance of Power in Dutch Senate
A week ago, it looked like the ruling parties in the Netherlands had managed to contain their losses in midterm elections.
Although three of the four parties that share power lost support, and the far right posted its best result to date, the government was not expected to become completely dependent on any one opposition party in the Senate.
Mark Rutte has suffered the same fate as his closest ally in Europe, Angela Merkel. Both center-right leaders moved to the middle in a bid for centrist voters only to leave a gap on the right that the far right has filled.
In midterm elections on Wednesday, the Dutch Freedom Party and Forum for Democracy won a combined 21 percent of the votes, their best result to date.
In Germany, support for the Alternative is down a few points in the polls but still at 11-14 percent. Merkel’s Christian Democrats fell from 41.5 to 33 percent between the 2013 and 2017 elections. Read more
Rutte Loses Senate Majority, Gains for Dutch Far Right
Dutch voters elected provincial deputies on Wednesday, who will elect a new Senate in May.
The four parties in Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s ruling coalition are projected to lose their majority in the upper chamber.
Far-right partied posted their best result to date, taking 21 percent of the votes. Read more