Dutch general elections-right wing parties win majority in the parliament

 Ruling right wing People's Party (VVD) of PM Rutte emerged as the leading party with 35 seats 

Prime Minister Mark Rutte's centre right People’s Party (VVD) emerged as the leading party with 35 seats in Dutch general elections.   Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the voting was extended to three days instead of one day. The turnout was nearly 83% slightly better than the 2017 turnout of 81%.

Rutte's government resigned in January ahead of the general election over a welfare benefits scandal. It had emerged that the tax authorities wrongly accused 26,000 families of fraud and demanded the repayment of thousands of euros between 2013 and 2019.

The government also faced large protests over COVID-19 restrictions; Rutte has nonetheless been viewed as a steady and modest leader.

Dutch voters have produced another hung parliament as no party was able to gain simple majority of 76 seats in the house of 150. Prime Minister Mark Rutte has to form fourth coalition government with the support of other right wing parties. He is ready to form another coalition of right wing parties to extend his rule beyond one decade.     

The three right wing parties of  current coalition People’s Party (VVD), Liberal Democrats 66 (D66) and Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) won a narrow majority of 76 in the 150 seat lower house. The poll also gives the three far right parties – PVV, FvD and JA21 – 29 seats in parliament and less then 20% votes, while the left-wing parties – PvdA, GroenLinks, SP and BIJ1 – are on 26. The Left parties failed to improve their performance and lose seats.

The NOS exit poll puts the VVD on 35 seats in the 150 seat parliament, three more than its 2017 total, with D66 leaping into second place on 27, a gain of five seats. Geert Wilders’ far right PVV is set to lose three seats to take 17, with the Christian Democrats, led by finance minister Wopke Hoekstra, on 14, also down five. GroenLinks which won 14 in the last election under Jesse Klaver is likely to win just eight-a loss of 06 seats.

 Pan European party Volt seems set to win seats in the election – and is forecast to win four in the exit poll. Thierry Baudet’s far right FvD has also done well, and could win seven seats, according to the exit poll.

The Party for Freedom, a right-wing nationalist party, was set to win 17 seats, which would be three seats fewer than they won four years ago. The Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) was expected to gain 14 seats compared to their previous 19 seats in parliament in 2017.

The GroenLinks (GL) and Socialist Party (SP) both looked likely to reduce their seats, winning eight seats compared to 14 for both parties in the last election. The Labour Party (PvdA) was set to win nine seats, according to the exit poll.

The exit poll also suggested that the right-wing Eurosceptic party Forum for Democracy (FvD) will increase their seats from two in 2017 to eight. The Party for the Animals which stands for animal welfare looked likely to win five seats. There were also several parties that won seats for the first time including BIJ1, a political party led by anti-racist campaigner Sylvana Simons. There will be 17 parties in parliament, with four newcomers – JA21, Volt, the pro farmers BBB and BIJ1.

Here is the list of final tally of different parties

                   2021       2017     change

VVD                 35           33         +2

D66                 24           19         +5

PVV                 17           20         -3

CDA                15           19         -4

PvdA                 9             9          –

GroenLinks        7           14         -7

SP                     9              14         -5

FVD                   8             2        +6

PvdD                 6             5        +1

ChristenUnie      5             5        –

Volt                    3             0        +3

SGP                  3             3         –

JA21                 4             0        +4

DENK                2             3         -1

50PLUS            1             4         -3

BBB                  1             0        +1

BIJ1                  1             0           –

                                                       Khalid Bhatti 

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