The ghost of Pim Fortuyn

The results of the Dutch parliamentary elections are trickling in. Voter turnout seems slightly lower than the years before, although this was partly compensated by a very high voter turnout under immigrants (of which many Islamic).

The results show that all major political parties are losers (although less than initial prognoses indicated). Apparently in Dutch politics the ghost of Pim Fortuyn is still alive and kicking. Not much has changed since the voters revolt Fortuyn has lead, the Dutch are still discontent and give their political elites again the thumbs down.

Election results and how the 150 parliamentary seats are distributed:

Christan Democrats (CDA): 41 ( -3)
Socialists (PvdA): 33 (-9)
Liberals (VVD): 22 (-6)
Communist (SP): 25 (+16)
Greens (GL): 7 (-1)
Social Liberals (D66): 3 (-3)
Christian Socialist (CU): 6 (+3)
SGP: 2 (+0)
Animal Party 2: (+2)
Geert Wilders Freedom Party (PVV): 9 (+9)

As you can see, all big mainstream parties have lost and only new and out of the mainstream political parties have won. Large numbers of people don’t give their trust to the Dutch political elites any more. Instead they give their vote to people who show that they believe in their own message. So the biggest winners are the communists, who still sincerely believe in their ideas and are not opportunistic hypocrites. Unlike the Socialist (PvdA), Christian Democrats (CDA) and Liberals (VVD) who for example all have half hearted embraced the market, but keep raising taxes and at the same time lower the benefits of the welfare system. At least the communist (SP) promises a well functioning welfare state.

But there is more, the discontented voters also voted two new political parties in parliament. The first is a one-issue Animal rights party that got hold of two parliamentary seats. The second is the new party of former Liberal maverick Geert Wilders. His pro-American conservative freedom party (PVV) storms parliament with 9 seats. The PVV wants to stop islamitization of The Netherlands, lower taxes, a stronger military, reign in the welfare state and make The Netherlands a free capitalist society.

What’s now going to happen? The result of this voter stampede will probably result again in a coalition of losers. Because the big winners: the Communist (SP) and Conservative Freedom Party (PVV) were both before the election already banned by the Christian Democrats (CDA). And a coalition without the Christian Democrats (CDA) is very unlikely. The only possible coalition without them would be a left coalition of five parties. Such a wide coalition does not seem likely. Thus expect a coalition between the two losers: Christian Democrats (CDA) and the Socialist (PvdA). This coalition falls three votes short, thus a third coalition partner is needed. Likely candidate are the Christian Socialists (CU) or the Liberals (VVD).

But don’t expect this coalition to be very stable. The losers of this election have no clear direction and these election results will only add to their instability. Expect an early election. They might even time it, so they hope to win back some voters.

Update: after the foreign voters counted and some recounts in the city of Eindhoven, the communist (SP) loses one seat and the socialist (PvdA) gains one seat.

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