PVV leader Geert Wilders is disappointed by the exit polls results for the European Parliament elections. His anti-EU party received 4.1 percent of the votes, compared to 13.3 percent in the previous European elections. That means that his PVV will lose three of its four seats.
The leaders of right-wing VVD and far-right FvD debated each other in the Rode Hoed in Amsterdam on Wednesday evening, the eve of the European Parliament elections in the Netherlands on Thursday. The sometimes fierce debate ranged from topics like leaving the euro to FvD leader Thierry Baudet's stance on women and the last time VVD leader Mark Rutte shed a tear. Baudet accused Rutte of "fear mongering" and Rutte called Baudet a "Russia lover", RTL Nieuws reports.
FvD leader Thierry Baudet is facing criticism from other party leaders over a video he posted on Twitter. The video features women telling how they were sexually assaulted or raped by migrants and blaming politicians who "refuse to protect our borders", showing photos of GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver, VVD leader Mark Rutte and D66 leader Rob Jetten at the end.
VVD leader Mark Rutte and Forum voor Democratie leader Thierry Baudet will face off against each other in a debate on television program Pauw on NPO on Wednesday evening. No one else is invited to participate in the debate. Other parties, particularly left-wing GroenLinks and PvdA, are annoyed that only the right and far-right will be represented in this debate on the eve of the European Parliament elections, which are being held in the Netherlands on Thursday.
In the run-up to the European Parliament elections next week, Prime Minister Mark Rutte is talking about his vision for Europe. According to the VVD leader, his ideas about that have shifted. "Europe is market and currency, but a point has been added", he said to Nieuwsuur on Wednesday night. That point is safety. Without the European Union, the Netherlands is just a small country on its own in a big and increasingly volatile world.
Forum voor Democratie leader Thierry Baudet is taking an "irresponsible risk with our security, our stability, and our prosperity" with his positive attitude towards the Netherlands leaving the European Union, VVD leader and Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a speech about Europe on Tuesday, NOS reports.
Over 1,200 academics signed an open letter in which they take a stand against statements made by FvD leader Thierry Baudet about universities. According to the signatories, Baudet's statements "conjure up a conspiratorial atmosphere" in which academics, journalists, artists and architects are portrayed "as the enemy of the people".
A 21-year-old woman from Nijmegen who was arrested on Monday for involvement in death threats made against FvD leader Thierry Baudet during an anti-racism protest in Amsterdam, regrets what she did. In a statement to the police, she said that "underestimated the impact of her words", NU.nl reports.
The woman was released again on Tuesday evening.
D66 alderman in Tilburg Marcelle Hendrickx is under fire for a tweet she posted last week saying that a vote for the Noord-Brabant FvD leader Hans Smolders is a vote for racism, hatred and division. In a debate on the matter on Monday night, she said that she regrets that the tweet was misunderstood, but she stands by the content, AD reports.
Over the weekend, videos filmed at the protest were posted online, showing a protester with a scarf over their face singing: "If you want to shoot Thierry, then say bang."
"Unacceptable", Prime Minister Mark Rutte said about threats made against FvD leader Thierry Baudet after the nationalist party's major win in the Provincial States elections last week. All politicians must be able to perform their duties in safety and freedom, Rutte said to the Telegraaf. "Democracy is not easy, but it is a valuable possession.
The victory speech FvD leader Thierry Baudet gave after his party won 12 Senate seats in the Provincial States election on Wednesday was full of fascist statements that made his supporters yearn for the Netherlands of the 19th century, according to Jan Jaap de Ruiter, professor of Cultural Studies at Tilburg University. "His statements about a purified and boreal Netherlands are worrying and threatening", De Ruiter said to De Gelderlander.
GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver believes that the government will opt for cooperation with the left-wing opposition in the new Senate. "The cabinet must choose: is it about the right or about the left? I assume it will opt for the Paris climate goals. That means that cooperation on the right is not an option", Klaver said, ANP reports.
FvD received the most votes in the Provincial States election, according to a provisional forecast from news wire ANP. Over 93 percent of the votes have been counted. Thierry Baudet's nationalist party will get 12 seats in the Senate, the same number as ruling party VVD. GroenLinks also had a major victory, ending with 9 seats in the Eerste Kamer.
FvD leader Thierry Baudet believes that his party's victory in the Provincial States election is punishment for the "arrogance and stupidity" of the Netherlands' current leaders. In his victory speech he emphasized that FvD is now one of the largest parties in the country, and that a change has been set in motion. "Economic and political capitulation is coming to an end", he said, NOS reports.
Voter turnout was up substantially in the country's provincial election on Wednesday, compared with turnout in 2015. Some 57.9 percent of eligible voters showed up at polling places, up from 47.8 percent four years earlier, according to RTL Nieuws.
The ruling coalition that forms the Cabinet in The Netherlands was projected to lose seven seats and its majority in the Eerste Kamer, the upper house of Dutch parliament. Eerste Kamer relative newcomer Forum voor Democratie (FvD), a nationalist right wing party, was projected to secure ten seats in the Dutch Senate, and left wing GroenLinks was expected to take eight seats. There are 75 seats in the chamber, with the coalition currently holding 38 for a razor thin majority.
The shooting in Utrecht on Monday that cost the lives of three people and left three other seriously injured is influencing the voting behavior of people in the Provincial States election today, according to a poll by Maurice de Hond. People voting for right-wing, anti-Islam parties FvD and PVV in particular are now more determined to cast their votes on Wednesday, De Hond found.
On Tuesday evening the 13 political party leaders responded to the shooting in Utrecht, in which three people were killed and three seriously injured, at the start of the last political debate before the Provincial States elections on Wednesday. PVV leader Geert Wilders and FvD leader Thierry Baudet decided to use their moment to blame the attack on Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) and CDA leader Sybrand Buma, linking the shooting to the Netherlands' immigration and integration policy, NOS reports.
The latest poll by Maurice de Hond shows right-wing party FvD gaining massive support compared to the votes the party got in the 2017 parliamentary election. Ruling party VVD, on the other hand, is losing support. The Provincial States elections are on Wednesday, March 20th.
In the parliamentary election, the FVD got 2 parliamentary seats. If that election was held again today, the party would get 18 seats, according to the poll. The VVD would see its seats drop from 33 to 22. That puts only a two seat difference between the two parties.
Almost a third of Dutch voters want to punish the Rutte III government for its policy during the Provincial States election on March 20th, according to the latest poll by research bureau I&O. A quarter of voters want to support the cabinet with his or her vote. And almost half said that they won't take into account whether or not the government coalition will get a majority in the Senate when they cast their vote, AD reports.
While the majority of the opposition parties in parliament is pleased with the expansion of the children's pardon, the government parties still faced strong criticism during a parliamentary debate on the matter on Wednesday. Opposition parties are particularly dissatisfied about the decision to take in fewer recognized asylum seekers from the United Nations, NU.nl reports.
A large majority in the lower house of Dutch parliament supports the government's intention to sign the United Nations' new migration pact next week, was revealed in a debate on the matter on Tuesday.
In addition to coalition parties VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie, the pact is also supported by GroenLinks, PvdA and DENK, NU.nl reports PVV, 50Plus, SGP and FvD are against the pact. They fear that migrants may derive new rights form the pact. PvdD and SP are still considering.