D66 Big Winner in Local Elections
THE HAGUE, 20/03/14 - Centre-left D66 has emerged as the big winner in Wednesday’s municipal council elections. It has become the biggest party in Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. Rotterdam fell into the hands of local party Liveable Rotterdam.
For the first time in history, D66 has the initiative for the formation of a municipal executive in Amsterdam. There is a realistic chance that Labour (PvdA) will not be in it. The party has deep wounds to lick now that it is no longer the biggest in the capital - for the first time since it was founded in 1946.
PvdA leader in Amsterdam Pieter Hilhorst resigned on Thursday. Before this, he shouldered the responsibility for the severe defeat. The PvdA has held only 10 of its 15 seats in the 45-seat council. D66 doubled its seats from seven to 14.
Possibly even more unexpected than its victory in Amsterdam was D66’s triumph in The Hague. There, too, the PvdA was unseated. The Party for Freedom (PVV) had been the favourite there according to the polls, but it stuck at seven seats. D66 won eight and the PvdA, six.
The PVV suffered in The Hague from the popular Richard de Mos, a former PVV MP. He won three two or three seats with his local party. The PVV, which only ran in The Hague and Almere, did however remain the biggest party in Almere.
In Rotterdam as in Amsterdam, the PvdA suffered a historic defeat. Never before did the party score so few votes. The right-wing Liveable Rotterdam of former Pim Fortyn List (LPF) MP Joost Eerdmans became by far the biggest party with 14 seats, followed by PvdA with eight and D66 with six.
The Muslim party NIDA, running for the first time, surprised with two seats on the Rotterdam municipal council. The party was partly born out of discontent with the course of the PvdA.
In Utrecht, D66 beat the leftwing Greens (GroenLinks) as the biggest party, with 13 seats to nine. The PvdA won five seats, as did the VVD.
D66 also won Groningen at the expense of the PvdA. PvdA did remain the biggest party in Eindhoven, ahead of D66 and VVD. In Maastricht, the local Seniors Party became the biggest.
The Christian democrats (CDA) traditionally perform badly in the cities. It also preformed worse than in the previous elections. But CDA did become the biggest party nationally despite the successes of D66, unseating the VVD.