BBB the biggest party in all provinces; A clear signal from the voters, Dutch PM says
Farmers movement BBB has become the largest party in all twelve Dutch provinces, according to the provincial results. Utrecht was the last province to get its results in. GroenLinks and BBB were neck-on-neck in the province, but BBB came out on top with 13.2 percent of the votes. GroenLinks is the second largest party there with 12.8 percent, followed by VVD with 11.9 percent, NOS and ANP report.
The turnout stood at 57.5 percent, higher than 2019’s already high 56 percent. According to the broadcaster, the turnout for this provincial election will likely be the highest since the late 1980s.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the BBB’s massive victory “a very clear cry to politicians” and a “very clear relevant signal” from the voter. Rutte told ANP he does not yet know how to interpret this cry. He needs more time to think about it. Sixteen hours after the first results is too early for a “full-fledged analysis,” he said.
To NOS, Rutte said he believes there is still support for his Cabinet. “We have a majority in parliament; there have been democratic elections.” The coalition already didn’t have a majority in the Senate, but losing more seats will still be a blow. Rutte wants to see how this plays out “In the coming days and weeks.”
Results per province
In Drenthe, the BBB got 33.5 percent of the votes, amounting to 17 seats in the Provincial Council - more than the total number of seats of the parties in places 2 to 7, according to the broadcaster.
In Overijssel, the party got 31 percent of the votes. In the municipalities of Dinkelland and Tubbergen, BBB even won outright, getting more than half of the votes. In these two municipalities, the CDA - traditionally the farmers’ party - lost a lot of voters. The turnout in Tubbergen was also 16 percent higher than in 2019.
In Limburg, BBB got 18.5 percent of the votes, here too, mostly at the expense of the CDA. Geert Wilders’ PVV, traditionally strong in Limburg, lost some voters but became the second-largest party with 12.7 percent of the votes.
In Groningen, BBB got 23.6 percent of the votes. PvdA and GroenLinks are the second and third biggest parties in the province, each getting about 10 percent of the votes. CDA’s votes about halved, from 8.1 percent in 2019 to 4.1 percent this year. The other coalition parties also scored less well than in 2019.
Friesland’s provisional results had the BBB with 27.9 percent of the votes. The PvdA is the second-largest party with 10.6 percent, followed by CDA with 8.7 percent.
BBB got 23.8 percent of Gelderland voters' votes. The VVD is in a distant second place with 10 percent. PvdA is the third party with 8.8 percent of the votes.
In Zuid-Holland, the farmers' party got 13.7 percent of the votes, beating the VVD's 12.9 percent. In 2019, the ruling party still got 15.7 percent of the votes. GroenLinks is the third largest party in Zuid-Holland with 9.7 percent of the votes, 0.6 percent more than in 2019.
BBB got 14.2 percent of the votes in Noord-Holland, over a percentage point more than second-place VVD. PvdA and GroenLinks are the third and fourth largest parties in the province. Together, the two left-wing parties are larger than the BBB.
In Noord-Brabant, the farmer's movement got 18.2 percent of the votes. VVD is the second largest party, with 14.1 percent of the votes. BBB will get 11 of the 55 seats in the Provincial Council, the VVD 9. GroenLinks is the third largest party, with 7.7 percent of the votes and five seats.
In Flevoland, BBB got 20.8 percent of the votes. VVD came in second largest with 9.9 percent of the votes, followed by the PVV with 7.7 percent, PvdA with 7.6 percent, and GroenLinks with 6.9 percent.
And in Zeeland, the BBB is the largest party with 19.7 percent of the votes, pushing the CDA from its throne. Left-wing combination GroenLinks/PvdA is the second largest party with 13.4 percent, followed by the SGP with 12.5 and then CDA with 11.4 percent.
This was the BBB’s first time participating in the provincial elections, and its massive victory translates into 16, maybe 17 seats in the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, according to a prognosis by ANP on Thursday afternoon. The left-wing bloc PvdA/GroenLinks is projected to get 15 seats. The two parties had separate electoral lists but will form one faction in the Senate.
The biggest loser in this election was FvD, who won 12 seats in the 2019 elections and only 2, maybe 3, in this one. Though due to infighting and split-offs, the FvD currently only has one actual seat in the Senate, so even with the much fewer votes, it may be considered a win.
All four coalition pirates - VVD, D66, CDA, and ChristenUnie - lost seats. For many voters, dissatisfaction with the current Cabinet motivated their choice to vote for someone else, according to an online poll by Ipsos.