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The summer recess meant a short election campaign though the results are not short of shocks.

With 99% of the votes counted, the right-wing liberal VVD can claim a historic win of 41 seats (+10), closely followed by the Labour Party with 39 seats (+9). It's being hailed as a win for the pro-Europeans, but time will tell. Incumbent Prime Minister Rutte said he didn't want to give another cent to Greece, but Labour, who he'll have to work with, is more flexible.

It's certainly not a win for the anti-Europe side though, most notably Wilders' Freedom Party, down to 15 seats from 24. Wilders changed tactics from hating on Islam to hating on Europe, but that doesn't seem to have been as popular as he thought. Breaking up the coalition over austerity measures needed to submit to EU budgetary rules, doesn't seem so clever now.

Some are already dancing on his grave but I wouldn't put away the garlic just yet. 15 seats isn't nothing and puts the PVV at third equal to the Socialist Party.

And what about the distinctly non-Europhile Socialist Party?! They were polling 30 seats a mere month ago! But Labour's Diederik Samson turned his party around at their expense.

The Christian Democrats continue their decline, from 21 seats to 13 seats. For so long a force to be reckoned with, but just seem to be floundering now.

The progressive centrist party D66, on the other hand, goes from 10 to 12 seats. A reward for sticking consistently to their story, including being very pro-Europe, even when it looked like the unpopular thing to do.

The conservative Christian Union stay on 5. The other Christian party, SGP, which dislikes women even more, goes up 1 to 3 seats. The animal rights party get 2, so does new senior party 50+.

Lastly, my party, GroenLinks, had a dreadful result. They fell from 10 seats to 3. They were always going to have a hard time after the popular Femke Halsema left, but Jolande Sap has had almost 2 years to bring the message across. Instead she oversaw some political missteps and internal ructions that undid the good of the emergency agreement after the coalition collapsed and a budget needed to be agreed on a tight deadline. I don't see how she can stay on.

Now, it's coalition time! The liberals and Labour make up a majority of 80 out of 150, but don't have a majority in the Senate. Adding D66 is proffered as the most obvious solution, but it'll be hard enough for the big two to hammer out an agreement. How long will it take?
kim
sierra_le_oli
Kimberley Verburg
Wellingtonian, Parisian, Londoner. Loving tea, missing crêpes. :) Now in Leiden!

E-mail: Kim @ Lspace.org

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July 2014
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