Far right-wing party PVV wins the Dutch elections, ‘I’m very curious to see how the Netherlands will do in political developments’

The elections in the Netherlands took an unexpective, extreme right turn. PVV (Party of the Freedom/Partij van de Vrijheid) became the biggest party in the Dutch Lower House, with 37 chairs. Geert Wilders, party leader of the PVV, is known for his extreme statements about immigration and the Islam. 

On the 22nd of November, 77,8% of Dutch citizens went to the voting lofts for the elections of the Lower House. Already early in the evening, the first exitpolls pointed out that PVV was getting the upper hand. For a lot this came as a shock, after 13 year, the liberal VVD (Volkspartij van Vrijheid en Democratie) isn’t the biggest party anymore.

Party leader Geert Wilders is known for his racist statements, such as ‘Do we want more or less Moroccans in the Netherlands?’ in 2014. The PVV’s most important statements are a stricter migration policy, a withdraw of the climate deal and preserve the Dutch culture. He even wants the Netherlands to exit the European Union, the nexit.

Dutch newspapers as NOS, expect a right-wing cabinet, but Wilders has to come up with milder viewpoints before the elections to compromise with other parties. What they all decide is that the formation of the cabinet will be a different task with a lift-wing opposition. The Dutch government still need to be formed, but the outcome of the election made a clear statement for many Dutch people.

Dutch students about the outcome 

An unexpected outcome for Melina (23), who didn’t expected the PVV to be the biggest. She expected that the VVD, (former leading party) would win again. ‘I’m curious how this will work out for the Netherlands, because they will have to collaborate with other parties to get a majority, put they already got 37 chairs, so it’s possible to reach the 76 chairs (half of the chairs of the Lower House).’ For the Netherlands, she is worried for the immigrants, ‘It’s general known that the PVV is against immigrants, it’s possible that there will be more hate against them. Dutch people will be put first by the PVV.’ Melina hopes that Wilders is milder because he has to collaborate with other parties in the Lower House. ‘And ofcourse we have our constitution, which he has to follow about freedom of religion, so I hope it will all be okay.’

Sam (22) is curious about the developments of the elections. ‘I know Wilders is infamous, but I think he has changed so, I’m interested if he follows his agreements.’ She thinks he can make a majority, which means he has to collaborate. I heard that he said that he has to make desicions for a higher interest and that other parties also have to do that aswell.’ She hopes Wilders will do that because some of his statements. ‘I don’t agree with everything he has said and some statements are bad for the country.’ She is convinced that Wilders can’t change the country on his own, but she gets that his victory is a shock for some.

For Lucas (21) the victory of the PVV isn’t that bad. ‘I don’t agree with everything the PVV says, but they do have a realistic image of the situation in the Netherlands. Maybe they can make some real changes.’ He believes there are coming some huge shifts in the Netherlands, but that all depends on the other parties and how they collaborate with the PVV. ‘I think a majority is possible, but a minority government isn’t bad either because then every party can individually express their opinion. I think this result is a step in the right direction.’

Text: Lotte van den Hout
Collage on top: © Lotte van den Hout
Photos: Lower House, Christian van Elven (CC BY-ND 2.0), Geert Wilders in 2012, Roel Wijnants (CC BY-NC 2.0)