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Dutch Elections: Pyrrhic Victory As Mainstream Party Clings to Power

Dutch Elections: Pyrrhic Victory As Mainstream Party Clings to Power
Wednesday’s Dutch general election saw a collapse of support for mainstream parties including the conservatives (VVD) and their coalition partners, Labour, but not enough to hand victory to insurgent movements like Geert Wilders’s Party for Freedom (PVV). After polls closed at 9-pm Dutch time and in the early hours as half the votes had been counted, it was clear that Mr Wilders had not made the breakthrough polls just a fortnight before the vote he would, and that the Dutch incumbent Prime Minister Mark Rutte would likely be staying on. Yet despite the position of Rutte’s VVD remaining the largest party, the election has seen a dramatic change in fortune for the traditional parties, which beyond a five-point drop for the conservatives saw the vote for the Labour party crash from 26 to 6 points. The shift means the left-wing party, which has been a key member of the ruling coalition and controlled many government ministries, will likely lose around three-quarters of their members of parliament. These collapses in the mainstream parties have been a boon to smaller, newer parties which have been boosted in their stead. Mr Wilders’s PVV is projected to pick up at least four more seats, although that is

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