Netherlands: Geert Wilders, a fiery conservative politician, has scored a landslide victory in an election, putting him in position to establish the next ruling party and maybe become the Netherlands’ next prime minister.
Wilders’ victory served as a wake-up call to progressive socialist parties across Europe ahead of European Parliament elections next June, which will almost certainly be contested on the same issues as the Dutch election: immigration, living costs, and climate change.
Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) gained 37 seats out of 150 on Wednesday, far outnumbering the joint Labour/Green ticket’s 25 and the conservative People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) of departing Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s 24. The coalition talks are expected to last several months.
“Of course, I would be delighted to become Prime Minister of the Netherlands,” Wilders told party members who greeted him with champagne and cake, adding that he was eager to compromise.
“We are eager to do that, because it gives us a lot of responsibilities, this huge win at the Dutch elections, and we really want to live up to it.”
Wilders has also stated his support for a referendum on whether the Netherlands should quit the EU.
“But the first thing is a significant restriction on asylum and immigration,” he remarked. “We don’t do that for ourselves, we do that for all Dutch people who voted for us” .
Immigrants in the Netherlands
According to Statistics Netherlands, net migration to the Netherlands more than quadrupled from the previous year in 2022 to over 223,000 persons. Last year, 64% of immigrants came from Europe, with Ukraine accounting for a quarter of all arrivals.
Wilders is opposed to Kyiv’s EU bid and has often stated that the Netherlands should stop providing armaments to Ukraine.
slamic and Moroccan organizations, as well as other rights groups, voiced worry about Wilders’ election in a country where Muslims make up roughly 5% of the population.
All eyes will now be on Wilders’ possible government allies, who had expressed severe reservations about working with him throughout the campaign but have become less vocal since his victory.
Wilders claims that the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Poland, Finland, Belgium, Greece, Austria, Sweden, and now the Netherlands…The ascent of the right has been unstoppable.
The extraordinary victory of Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) will send liberals into a tailspin.
Right-wing ideology returning
Far-wing parties in Europe have begun to govern in Italy, Sweden, and now Finland. A gradual transition is taking place in Europe, which could lead to a new political trend.
The latest example is Finland, where, after three months of negotiations, the far-right nationalist party “the Finns,” who campaigned heavily against immigration and the European Union, became a member of the coalition government.
Such parties are also involved in or leading governments in Italy and Sweden, while in Spain, the conservative People’s Party (PP) struck a series of regional and local coalition deals with the radical right Vox party, laying the groundwork for next month’s general election, which they are expected to win.
Meanwhile, extreme conservative parties have ruled Hungary and Poland for many years.
According to analysts, the causes for this tendency differ each country, with immigration, the economy, and the war in Ukraine among the factors. As the European elections next year approach, new political alliances may emerge.
According to recent polls, the main parties — the conservative European People’s Party, the liberals of Renew, and the social democrats of the S&D — are expected to emerge weakened.
The recent open “flirt” between the EPP and the more right-wing European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR), particularly on environmental matters, has prompted concerns about policy formulation after 2024.
Meanwhile, in Germany, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) is polling well, with promises to limit migration and a focus on the government’s green plan, and in France, the far-right remains a prominent political player.