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#EP2019 – Timmermans effect helps Social Democrats surge in #Netherlands




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The Netherlands voted on 23 May, with a higher turnout than usual for a European Parliament election, reaching 42%, the highest since 1989. The exit polls suggest that the main winner is the Social Democratic Party (PvdA) with over 18% of the vote, writes Catherine Feore.

Mainstream Dutch parties that support the EU took 70% of the vote, according to an Ipsos poll. After a very poor performance in national elections of 2017, where the party won just five seats, the result comes as a surprise.

Some think that the reversal of fortune may be due in part to a “Timmermans effect”, referring to the European Commission’s Dutch First Vice President Frans Timmermans, who is standing as the Spitzenakandidaten for the Social and Democrats Group.

The far-right PVV party that currently sits in the Parliament’s Europe of Freedom and Nations group (ENF) led by the fiercely Islamaphobic Geert Wilders (pictured) appear to have been badly hit (-9%) and will lose at least three of their four seats and PVV’s loss will be new-kid-on-the-block the national-conservative FvD gain (+11%).


FvD could win as many as five MEPs. The FvD is likely to sit in the ECR Group in the Parliament, with what remains of the British Conservative Party and the Polish Law and Justice Party.

The Dutch Green Party GroenLinks have received 11.5 percent of the vote in the European elections, according to exit polls. Commenting on the exit polls co-leading candidate of the European Green Party and lead candidate of GroenLinks Bas Eickhout said: “The people of the Netherlands have given a ringing endorsement for a European future that is both Green and progressive. It is also a rejection of the far-right and their vision to retreat behind national borders and destroy the foundations of the European project.

“It’s the fourth successful election in a row for Groenlinks helping them establish their position as a driving force for progressive change in the Netherlands and Europe. Now it's up to the rest of Europe to show up to the polls and vote for Europe, and against climate change."

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