Today, the Irish and Czechs go to the voting booth to elect their representatives for the European Parliament (EP). Yesterday, the Dutch and the British went to the booth. Tomorrow and Sunday the citizens of the other 27 member states will elect their Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). The election results will only be announced after the last voters have cast their votes on Sunday evening. “Unofficial official” results of the elections in the Netherlands have, however, already been disclosed this morning. They show that the Freedom Party PVV of Dutch opposition leader Geert Wilders has won at least 4, maybe even 5, of the 25 Dutch MEP seats in the first European elections in which the PVV has ever participated. The party, founded by Mr Wilders two years ago, became the second largest party in the Netherlands, after the governing Christian-Democrat CDA of Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende, which wins 5 seats.
The CDA won 20% of the votes, the PVV 16.9%. Labour (PvdA), which is the junior coalition partner in Mr. Balkenende’s government, dropped to 12.2%. The Liberal Party VVD, to which Mr. Wilders belonged before it ousted him over his opposition to Turkish EU membership, dropped to 11.3%. Libertas, the pan-European party of the Irishman Declan Ganley, got the support of a mere 0.3%.
Compared to the previous EP, the CDA dropped from 7 to 5 seats, Labour from 7 to 3 and the VVD from 4 to 3, while the PVV enters the EP with 4, perhaps even 5, seats. The biggest loser of the elections is Labour.
Wilders’ party has become the largest party in Rotterdam, a traditional Socialist stronghold, where it received 22.5% of the votes, while Labour declines from 31 to 15%. Rotterdam has a large population of Muslim immigrants. It seems the native voters have flocked en masse to Wilders, whose party has even become the biggest in Capelle aan de IJssel, the home town of Prime Minister Balkenende.
The Dutch electoral map shows that the PVV (pale blue on the map) has become the largest party in parts of the southern province of Limburg, Wilders’ home province, which is traditionally Christian-Democrat, in the eastern corner of the northern province of Groningen, which is a communist bulwark, and in the major cities and suburbs of the West, which traditionally tend to vote Labour (inner cities) or Liberal (suburbs). This indicates that the PVV appeals to the whole spectrum of the Dutch indigenous population, from the right to the left, with its program against the Islamization of Europe, its outspoken support for Israel, and against the transformation of the European Union into a European superstate.