Government one short in upper house
The Dutch centre right coalition government led by the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) has failed to win an outright majority in the upper house of parliament, the Senate or Eerste Kamer, by one seat.
Having done poorly in local elections in March, the chances of trouble for the coalition were always strong. The 75 seat Senate is elected by indirect elections through 566 councillors from 12 regional authorities.
The final results gave the coalition partners 37 seats. The VVD took 16 seats, up two from 2007. But the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) took only 11 seats, down ten from 2007. The Party for Freedom (PVV) took 10 seats. The opposition Labour Party (PvdA) took 14 seats.
The coalition will now rely on the one seat of the strongly Christian Reformed Political Party (SGP) to pass legislation in the upper house. The chances are that this will mean some watering down of budget cuts and certainly a much harder struggle to get legislation passed.