Roughly 81 percent of eligible voters showed up to cast a ballot in Wednesday's Dutch parliamentary election, according to exit polls conducted by Ipsos for broadcasters NOS and RTL. The voter turnout far outpaced the 2012 and 2010 election figures, when about 75 percent arrived at the polls leading to the two Mark Rutte cabinets.
An exit poll sampling voters in the 2017 Netherlands parliamentary election shows the conservative party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte taking 31 seats in the Lower House, down from its current 41 seats. The coalition partner of Rutte's VVD, the Labour party (PvdA), showed a bigger than expected drop, losing 29 of its 38 seats, the Ipsos exit poll showed.
Dutch people are voting in the parliamentary elections today. The last political polls before the election has the VVD in the lead, followed by the PVV. The CDA is very close on the PVV's heels in a solid third place, according to the final Peilingwijzer, which combines the data of the six largest polls in the Netherlands.
In the last weeks of polling, the VVD and CDA climbed strongly in the polls, while the PVV, PvdA and 50Plus showed drops in support. All the other parties trended relatively flat over the past weeks, with only very minor movements.
Thirteen party leaders clashed on Tuesday night in the final election debate on NOS, the last chance for the party leaders to sway voters before the election. Topics ranged from income inequality to Dutch identity. And after an entire election campaign of being calm and being nice, PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher went on the attack, NU.nl reports.
Today the Dutch are voting for a new parliament at one of 8,891 polling stations. The first polling stations to open were in Castricum and Amsterdam at midnight. Hundreds of votes were already cast, RTL Nieuws reports.
All polling stations are open between 7:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Don't know where to vote? A map with polling stations per municipality can be found here.
In a new verbal attack, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan holds the Netherlands responsible for the mass murder of thousands of Muslim men in Srebrenica in 1995. "We know the Dutch from the Srebrenica massacre", he said in a speech that was televised live in Turkey, according to the Volkskrant. "We know how rotten their character is due to their murder of 8 thousand Bosnians there."
Turkish hacker groups targeted a large number of Dutch websites after the political fallout between the Netherlands and Turkey over the weekend. The NL Times website was also targeted.
NL Times was the victim of at least two DDoS attacks on Sunday and Monday, in an attempt to take the site offline, according to a Turkish-language Facebook group linked to cyber-attackers. In a DDoS attack, a large amount of traffic is sent to specific servers, causing them to crash.
The diplomatic crisis between the Netherlands and Turkey had no immediate impact on the political polls one day before the Dutch parliamentary election. The latest Peilingwijzer does show an increase in support for the two leading parties in the polls, the VVD and PVV, but the increase was very minor.
Monday night's EenVandaag election debate between the leaders of the two largest parties in the polls, VVD leader Mark Rutte and PVV leader Geert Wilders, was exceptionally harsh. Accusations including "No one believes you anymore, Mr. Rutte!" and "Wilders walks away when things get difficult" were thrown about, RTL Nieuws reports.
Turkey is turning to the European Court of Human Rights in its political battle with the Netherlands, president Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Monday. He also announced a number of sanctions against the Netherlands, including that Dutch diplomats are no longer welcome in Turkey, NU.nl reports.
Geert Wilders has a strong chance of coming out on top following elections, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in Rotterdam on Monday. Rutte repeated comments he made during a televised interview last week, when he told of going asleep on June 23 thinking Brexit would be voted down, only to find out otherwise the next morning. He had a similar opinion of the November 8 election in the United States.
Germany and France expressed their support for the Netherlands in the political spat between the Netherlands and Turkey. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg also called for a de-escalation in the situation. After the Netherlands' parliamentary election on Wednesday, Germany and France also have elections upcoming.
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs updated its travel advice for Turkey, due to current political tensions between the two countries. The Dutch government does not advise against going to Turkey, but does warn Dutch travelers to watch out for gatherings and avoid public places, ANP reports.
These warnings are on top of the already in place advice of risks in Turkey due to terrorist attacks and political tensions.
A quarter of Dutch believe that if a woman dresses sexy, she should not complain when she hears sexual comments, according to a survey by research firm Ipsos on behalf of Rutgers, a knowledge center on sexuality. And 13 percent believe that girls who wear short skirts should not complain when they are harassed, AD reports.
The members of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs are increasingly meeting in pubs and restaurants in the Netherlands, Zwolle mayor Henk Jan Meijer said to newspaper AD. According to him, this is due to the closing of clubhouses.
Meijer is chairman of a national consultative group that is working to address the problem of motorcycle gangs in the Netherlands. The group is made up of representatives from, among others, the Public Prosecutor, tax investigative authority FIOD, police and local authorities.
American Republican Steve King, congressman for the state of Iowa, is facing social media outrage following a tweet in support of anti-Islam PVV leader Geert Wilders.
"Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny", King wrote on Twitter. "We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies." According to the BBC, King is a strong advocate of ending birthright citizenship, which gives all babies born in the United States citizenship to the country, even if their parents live there illegally.
On Sunday night the police were forced to intervene in a demonstration by about 250 Turkish-Dutch in Amsterdam. Mayor Eberhard van der Laan put the demonstration to an early end around 10:45 p.m. due to disruptions of public order and traffic, the municipality announced. Riot police units were deployed and eventually chased the demonstrators home using water cannons, AD reports.
A politically turbulent day between Turkey and the Netherlands ended with the riot police clashing with Dutch-Turkish protesters at the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam on Saturday night and during the early hours of Sunday morning, NOS reports.
Saturday started off turbulent with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu saying that the Netherlands is holding Dutch-Turks hostage by not allowing Turkish ministers to attend campaign meetings in the Netherlands on a referendum to be held in Turkey next month. He also threatened the Netherlands with sanctions
Former Prime Minister Dries van Agt will not be voting for his party the CDA on Wednesday. In a newsletter for foundation The Rights Forum he writes that he is "no longer able to live with his party's stance in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians", NOS reports.
For years Van Agt has been calling for attention to the plight of the Palestinians. He's also been very critical of Israel. For a long time he's considered the course of the CDA as too weak, but now "enough is enough".
With April 27th just around the corner, Tilburg is revealing its plans for this year's official King's Day celebrations. Royalty expert Marc van der Linden call's Tilburg's King's Day program the most ambitious one yet, Omroep Brabant reports.
Tilburg wants to present itself as a young city. According to Van der Linden, "on paper" the program manages to do just that. "It looks very nice. All Tilburg residents are involved. From a Syrian refugee who wants to give a big 'thank you' to transvestites."
The state of the Dutch armed forces is extremely worrying, according to advisory council on international affairs AIV in an advice report to the cabinet titled 'Russia and the Dutch defense efforts'. According to the report, the "employability of the armed forces was further undermined this government term" and if the policy is not changed, the basic readiness of the army will only be back in order in 2021, NU.nl reports.
SGP party leader Kees van der Staaij brutally attacked the D66 and its leader Alexander Pechtold in the Christian debate in Ede on Thursday. Van der Staaij compared Pechtold's "radical secular ideology" with radical Islam, BNR reports.
Lower house of parliament president Khadija Arib refused to cooperate in the wish of two of King Willem-Alexander's influential advisors to give the King more influence in the formation of the new cabinet, the Volkskrant reports.
Up until 2012 the ruling Dutch monarch played an active role in the formation of a new cabinet. The King or Queen could, for example, assign a "scout" to examine coalition possibilities and appoint informers. After a majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, changed the rules in 2012, the Kamer itself performs these tasks.
On Thursday afternoon a Rotterdam man was dragged out of his car in Amstelveen, pushed into another car and driven off by men in balaclavas. He was found wounded in the province of Zuid-Holland hours later, the police announced in a statement.
The police are hesitant about releasing information. "Everything we release, will be read by the other party too, so we have to be very careful. The investigation is in progress", a spokesperson said to AD. The victim has a criminal record. He received medical treatment for his injuries.