Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 06:15:34 AM EST
AKA "The Goons are Marching In"
As was already projected in polls, the party of Geert Wilders (diary here) has most likely become the big winner of the European elections in the Netherlands yesterday. The official announcement of the results will wait until Sunday, however, the preliminary results below are from counted votes (not all of them). Characteristically recalcitrant to the European standard, the Dutch stick to the opinion that voting should be transparent and open. So there. Actually, there is not one word in the press that the Dutch are the only ones bringing their results out in the open.
Plotted as European groups in parliament, the results are projected as following:
Whereby the anti-European party of Wilders is represented as "Non-Inscrits" - a party operating outside a traditional parliamentary group.
Below the fold, a breakdown at the national level.
With 36,5% (estimated), national turnout was not a success at all, and worse than 2004 (39,3%). I suspect this also gives an extra boost for Wilders – as he rallied people who generally don’t come out to vote. I won’t put judgement whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing for democracy, but it has ravaged the traditional parties, and particularly Labour.
Although 17 parties were competing for votes, the traditional national political parties were the only ones that kept or gained seats. The Party for the Animals (ET diary here), which gained 2 seats in national parliament in 2006, did not manage to get a seat yesterday.
I’ve put the national party with behind their affiliated parliamentary group, then the (preliminary) results of yesterday and then, in brackets, the results of 2004:
CDA - EPP: 5 (7)
Labour - PES: 3 (7)
VVD - ALDE: 3 (4)
D66 - ALDE: 3 (1)
GroenLinks - Greens: 3 (2)
SocialistParty - EUL : 2 (2)
ChristenUnie/SGP - ID : 2 (2)
PVV – Non-Inscits: 4 (0)
Data taken from NOS. Diaries on the Dutch parties here (right parties) and here (left parties).
A few observations. If the preliminary results remain standing, Labour got butchered, while also the EPP gets less power (and personally I won’t lose tears over the latter). As both the VVD (economic liberal fundies) and D66 (economic liberals but greener and more humane) work together in ALDE, there is an increase for ALDE, making ALDE the group that represents most voters.
On the environmental side, two parties with eye for durable solutions, D66 and GroenLinks, both gained. Both are in opposition in national parliament, which always helpe,s and particularly the seats for D66 are a remarkable turnaround from the disastrous state in 2006 – and much of this can be credited to its leader, Alexander Pechtold, who really has become the most vociferous stance against the other great winner: Geert Wilders.
It is clear that Geert Wilders has found consistent traction in the Netherlands with his message of “No against Europe” and bashing Turkey. His party is the only party that utterly rejects Turkey becoming a member of the European Union, and with 68 % of the population not favouring Turkey as member now, there is a majority of people to which his message appeals.
As Wilders has announced they will not “betray” themselves by joining any European parliamentary group, there will be another splinter fraction added to the parliament, with little weight or leverage. And a perfect example to show how little their party seems to understand of the political poker play in the European Parliament. I wouldn't be surprised if the PVV makes very little result in the European Parliament the next 5 years, but it still bears watching in relation to other anti-European parties.
That Wilders (and also the increasingly more foolish Mark Rutte, leader of the VVD party) now demand national elections to be held because yesterday’s elections have supposedly shown how the Dutch dislike the current cabinet, is of course here nor there. Never mind that Rutte's party (VVD) actually is projected with a loss. Never mind that the results are still preliminary, but it does underline how out of whack and megalomaniac Wilders actually is.
The official results will be released on Sunday with the rest of the EU countries, and will be covered here at European Tribune.