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Netherlands: Major victory for far-right in legislative elections

Netherlands: Major victory for far-right in legislative elections

Posted on November 23, 2023 at 6:14 amUpdated on November 23, 2023 at 7:36 am.

A monster win and a blocked situation: Far-right populist Geert Wilders has achieved a feat. The leader (and sole member) of his party, the BVV (Independence Party), has won the Netherlands’ parliamentary elections, according to exit polls, and will win 37 of the 150 seats (an increase of 18 from the current assembly). The left-wing coalition GL-PvdA will become the second largest party with 25 seats. The VVD, the largest party in previous elections, is expected to fall sharply and end up with 24 seats. The new, center-right “New Social Deal” party will get 20 seats.

By tradition, the largest party can take the lead in forming a new government coalition, although this is not a written rule. Geert Wilders said on Wednesday evening that the BBB may try to form a centre-right coalition with the VVD and the NSC. He insisted that the PVV “can no longer be ignored”. But whether these parties are willing to negotiate with Wilders remains to be seen.

Brussels is on alert

Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, head of the liberal VVD party, which already sees itself as the first female prime minister, said it was unclear how Wilders could build a majority. Frans Timmermans, leader of the left-wing coalition GroenLinksPvda, was more outspoken and ruled out re-entering “a coalition that excludes the Dutch”.

In Brussels, the election results in The Hague will be carefully scrutinized. In the past, Wilders has often called for Nexit and a return to Guilder. So, the first European reaction came from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on X (formerly Twitter): “The winds of change are here.”

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In France, with similar enthusiasm, Marine Le Pen, head of the National Rally group in the National Assembly, congratulated Geert Wilders and his far-right party “for their fantastic performance” in the legislative elections.