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
Small EU Countries Resist Franco-German Push for Protectionism
Since the European Commission blocked a landmark merger of the French and German train manufacturers Alstom and Siemens, France and Germany have come out in favor of a “genuine European industrial policy” to compete with China and the United States.
Smaller countries, led by the Netherlands and Poland, are wary. Read more
Dutch Ruling Parties Likely to Lose Upper House Majority
The ruling parties in the Netherlands are down in the polls and likely to lose their majority in provincial and Senate elections next month.
According to a poll of polls published by the national broadcaster NOS, three of the four coalition parties would lose seats. Only the small Christian Union has gained popularity since the last election, in 2017.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s center-right liberals remain the largest party in the polls. The Greens and far-right Freedom Party compete for second place. Forum for Democracy, another far-right party, is up as well.
Another poll has found that only a third of voters want Rutte’s four-party government to continue.
The NOS cautions that next month’s elections could pan out differently. Far-right voters are less likely to turn out in regional elections. The middle-of-the-road Christian Democrats, who are currently in government, usually overperform. Read more