Dutch Parliamentary Elections Updates

First impressions.

PVV (Geert Wilders‘ Party) is the big winner. JP Balkenende is now definitely out. His CDA took a fair beating. As did the Socialist Party. D66 (from 3 to 10) makes a nice comeback, GreenLeft could be a factor of some importance when it’s time to form a government coalition (possibly purple). Turn-out is estimated at 74%.

Rita Verdonk’s Party Trots op Nederland (Proud of Holland) did not make the cut. Populism doesn’t seem to work for everybody. Do check out the linked vid with English subs for some Dutch right-wing Zeitgeist.

Nice fait divers for expats like myself (hat tip Sargasso). Half a million Dutchies living abroad have the right to vote (representing about eight seats in Parliament). This year 46,396 of them registered to vote. One of their main worries? Finding a red pencil…

The face of the new Prime Minister? Or is this the one?

Thursday 03.00 am, Rutte on tv: “It’s the economy. And immigration too.” He congratulates Femke Halsema (GL) and Alexander Pechtold (D66) with their scores…

Wilders on tv (earlier this evening): “As the country’s third party we cannot be excluded, we want to govern.” Is willing to compromise in order to be able to govern.

03.26 am Mark Rutte (VVD) on tv calling it, tentatively, for the VVD. Lauds JP Balkenende. Keywords: Economic recovery, security, immigration. Believes he is the obvious candidate for Prime Minister.

Live commentary (in Dutch) and footage can be found here.

Here is a link with election updates. Just choose the number 443 and press “gaan” (go).

Situation as of Thursday 03.38 am with 96.5% of the votes counted:

VVD 31 (conservative-liberal, up from 22 in 2006)
PvdA 30 (labour/social-democrats)
PVV 24 (Geert Wilders’ Party, up from 9)
CDA 21 (Christian-democrats, down from 41 and now behind PVV!)
SP 15 (Socialist Party, down from 25)
D66 10 (social-liberal up from 3)
GL 10 (green left)
CU 5 (christian union)
SGP 2 (christian party striving for theocracy)
PvdD 2 (party for the animals)

Calling it a night. PVV, VVD and D66 win big, CDA en SP lose big. Mark Rutte will probably become the first liberal Dutch PM in modern history.