Netherlands

Government likely to lose Senate majority


Published

Following local election this week, the Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV) is likely to take 10 seats in the Senate on 23rd May. This will be the first time they have representation in the Senate. The PVV is described in the mainstream media as being far right and anti-Islamist.

Although the elections this week were for the 12 provincial councils, these councils then decide the makeup of the Senate or upper house of the Dutch parliament. The 75 seat Senate can reject legislation but cannot initiate or amend legislation. Nevertheless this is likely to create problems for the current administration.

As a result of the elections it is likely that the government will lose its overall majority in the Senate by one seat and find it harder to push through legislation.

The likely makeup of the Senate on 23rd May 2011 is:

Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) 11 seats (-10 from 2007)
People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) 16 seats (+2)
Labour Party (PvdA) 14 seats (nc)
Socialist Party (SP) 8 seats (-4)
Green Left (GroenLinks) 5 seats (+1)
Christian Union (Christien Unie) 2 seats (-2)
Democrats 66 (D66) 6 seats (+4)
Party for the Animals (Partij voor de Dieren) 1 seat (nc)
Political Reformed Party (SGP) 1 seat (-1)
Party for Freedom (PVV) 10 seats (+10)
50 plus 1 seat (+1)

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