The Complete Preview Of The March 15 Dutch General Election

Tyler Durden's picture

March 15 is not only the day when the FOMC is now widely expected to hike rates by another 25 bps, and when the US debt ceiling suspension expires, but just as importantly, is the date of the 2017 Dutch General Election. Here is a full preview of what to expect courtesy of RBC Capital Markets.

By way of background, the Netherlands is the euro area’s 5th-largest economy, a founding member of the EU and one of only 3 euro area countries (along with Germany and Luxembourg) to enjoy an AAA rating from the 3 main ratings agencies.

Netherlands general election – summary

  • Dutch voters cast their ballots in the country’s general election on Wednesday March 15th
  • According to opinion polls the (centre-right) VVD party of current Prime Minister Mark Rutte is vying with the anti-immigration, anti-EU, Freedom Party of Geert Wilders to emerge as the largest party
  • The election is the first in a series of votes this year that includes elections in France (April/May) and Germany (September), and potentially also Italy if early elections are announced later this year
  • A victory in the popular vote for Wilders could therefore be interpreted as a signal that anti-EU populist parties are coming to the fore in the EU ahead of those elections
  • However, the fractured nature of Dutch politics (it’s likely that up to 14 separate parties will win seats in parliament) means that the wider impact of Wilders emerging with the largest party may be limited
  • With no party set to command more than 30 seats in the 150-seat parliament, at least four parties will be required to form a government
  • Convention dictates that, were it to win the popular vote, Wilders’ Freedom Party would have first attempt at forming a government
  • However, most of the other main parties have ruled out co-operating with the Freedom Party and there is no rule that the government must contain the largest party
  • In order to deliver its commitment to withdraw the Netherlands from the EU, the Freedom Party would: 1) need to form a government that would agree to put a referendum bill to parliament; and 2) gain parliamentary approval, neither of which appear likely possibilities

Dutch General Election: Opinion Polls


Dutch politics – a bluffer’s guide


Dutch election 2017 – the main protagonists


Dutch election 2017 – but it’s not just about the big two parties


Negotiation, negotiation, negotiation


A near-term referendum on EU membership is unlikely


Even thought Public opinion in favour of the EU has fallen…

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Full presentation below (link)

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SpanishGoop's picture

"However, most of the other main parties have ruled out co-operating with the Freedom Party and there is no rule that the government must contain the largest party"


Complete disrespect to the voters.


Kaeako's picture

The idea is to represent the people who voted for you, not the other party. It's good that they make this clear to the electorate well ahead of time, everyone knows the deal before they head to the polls.

Ghordius's picture

+1 it sounds like disrespect... if you assume that there is a majority behind it

if 33% voted for A, 28% for B, 27% for C and the rest for assorted small parties...

then B+C represent a majority of 55%... if they engage in a coalition agreement (preferrably made clear to the electorate before the elections)

that's how representational voting systems and parliamentarism work

in the US/UK, with their FPTP systems, A would still not get gov power because B+C would have to form a platform or "large tent" party beforehand. but then, they would get the seat(s), possibly all of them, and that.... possibly forever

under FPTP, parties are less defined, but more longeve. to the point of immortality of a political duopoly

under the more typical european representational model, parties are smaller, more defined, but also more... mortal. they can die, or become irrelevant

prime american's picture
prime american (not verified) Ghordius Mar 6, 2017 6:17 AM

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do...

Soylent Gren's picture

There's actually only one small party (50-plus) that wants to co-operate with the freedom party (PVV). The problem with the freedom party is the fact that they don't really have a plan to govern the country after they've been elected, except if you consider a small piece of paper with a few bulletpoints a plan.

Furthermore, the leader (Geert Wilders) of the party is a narcissist bigot who's not open to compromises with other parties. So forming a government with the PVV is basically impossible.

In the past some parties have tried to form a government with the freedom party, but on the last day of the negotiations Geert Wilders pulled the plug and just walked out of negotiations.

Vageling's picture

Yeah... Because he wouldn't sell his voters out and break his promises. Sounds like a valid reason to me. 

Your boy Rutte will flip-flop once he's back in his tower. But I'm sure his apologies fixed all of that and he won't lie no more. 

new game's picture

it is extremely clear to me that the majority will be taking it up the ass administered by the minority controlling their destiny.

long euro vasoline


Itinerant's picture

The problem with Dutch politics is that the real elections take place behind closed doors where a coalition is formed. The platform to which the coalition agrees becomes the paper ruler for 4 years, without discussion or debate lest the coalition fall apart. Voters have virtually no influence on the ultimate policies and program that the politicians put into place: the favored parties have more say, but ultimately have no responsibility to the voters, since everything is a matter of secret compromise and bargaining.

The most galling part of the process is that it is the opposite of democracy. Democracy does not in the first instance mean majority rule or popular elections, but implies open debate in terms of rational discussion -- in the hope that arguments and reason win the day. But instead there is a secret process of power mongering by the elite. Voter's preferences have only an incidental role in the result, and often represent elite opinion far more than the populace.

Historically, parties at the centre of the political spectrum have wielded influence and have had cabinet ministers for up to 72 years despite winning only 12-15% of the popular vote, simply be being part of every "doable"  coalition. I would be in favor of a run off system in which the coalition itself would be subject to a second round of electoral approval.

thunderchief's picture

Nothing will get done and the EU will get the last laugh. 

Back to hash and whores, Holland.

Baronneke's picture

And we still call The Netherlands a "democracy" ???   Sure...!

Ghordius's picture

Excellent article. Really left nothing to add. Too bad not everybody reads it

SpanishGoop's picture

We do have a lot of choice, we have 28 parties we can vote for.......

And to make it even more complicated they could also form a minority gouvrnment.


SpanishGoop's picture

"The Dutch electorate has a recent record of rejecting treaties on  EU issues, voting against both the European Constitution (in 2005) and an associate agreement between the EU and Ukraine (in 2016)"

Just to bad it doesn't count for anything.


Ghordius's picture

why? I am very happy that both the Dutch and the French electorates voted against the European Constitution. it was imho very important

with a EU C, the EU would be a federation. without it, it stays a special org based on treaties among sovereign countries

nope, those referenda were important and counted for a huge lot, imo. even Brexit would have become an even more difficult thing without those

SpanishGoop's picture

So we are not part of this unholy union and we do not have a treaty with the Ukraine ?

Good to know.


Ghordius's picture

you had an advisory referendum in the Netherlands regarding that treaty with Ukraine

you seem not happy on how the Dutch Government under the Dutch Constitution handles that. a fully Dutch internal matter

what was the thread about, again?

Vageling's picture

I see the muppets were awoken by the smell of hope a change. Fuck this dog and pony show. Fake parliament with seat huggers that have nothing but contempt for the people. Thought the VVD was done with the socialists after a 4 year horrible marriage? Oh right, Rutte die altijd loopt te kutten, is a pathological liar. 

As for polls. Maurice the Hoax et al. Find a new trick. This voter steering trick with polls get old. Even Arrogander "miezerig mannetje" Pechtholshenko is drinking the kool aid believing it.

Nothing changes. Fuck... Jesse Klaver for PM! This country lost its mind a long time ago. At least he's fun to watch tripping over his own feet. Rutte the vain mommy's boy is boring. Lies... Nothing but lies! Like hell I trust him ever. Wilders? Well he's standard entertainment. 

Ghordius's picture

"Fake parliament with seat huggers that have nothing but contempt for the people."

so which part of the Dutch Constitution are you against? or are you just against Parliamentarism in general? that would leave the option open for a more... authoritarian setup, or am I missing something?

Vageling's picture

In your one dimensional world it's impossible for you catch something to begin with. But keep trying to label me. I know what trick you're up to.

I'm against this so called form of parlementarisme. Party orders, secret deals, written scripts, constant flip-flopping... Only a handful understand what their job is. You fucking approve a bill without knowing what's in it? Great thinking! Lying and deceiving your population to please your masters in the EU... Nice. Having plane trips with oligarchs and expect me to see you as impartial? Sure.. 

They all are about self preservation. Deal with the too many party problem. Either put up a minimum amount of seats required to enter parliament or do a two round thing with the final round between 5 major parties. Stop being cute for the camera. Start working on solutions instead of all the PC bullshit and drama series. Apply the laws instead of postponing because it hurts your crony buddies. 

All of these parties have things that violate the constitution. A constitution can be changed... well in theory as in reality it's a lengthy process. Doesn't even have to happen. But hey... How dare I point out the obvious corruption... Than I must be for some authoritarian setup... Because these forms really fix corruption instead of increasing it right?

Ghordius's picture

hey, I challenged your "fake" in your "fake parliament"

but it's an excellent answer, in parts. +1

Singelguy's picture

The problem is that are just too many parties. No party can ever get an absolute majority so meaningful change is very difficult if not impossible. The Dutch Constitution should be ammended to set a higher threshold for what constitues a political party. The USA has gone to the extreme of essentially allowing only a 2 party system. Having said that, the media in the Netherlands is highly focused on the 6 largest parties and virtually ignores the other 22.

MieleBauknecht's picture

The all-important Party-for-animals is left out of this discussion. According to the polls there might be a coalition with them, as they will have about 6 seats. Would be a first to have animals represented in a government.

DIGrif's picture

What a cluster fuck system

Batman11's picture

The hollowed out neo-liberal, Western economy has already produced Brexit and Trump.

What is neo-liberalism doing to Western economies?

1) The off-shoring of most reasonably paid jobs in the middle

2) The new low paid service sector jobs

3) The new part-time or zero hour contract jobs

4) Job insecurity, with constant re-structuring and shifting jobs around the world

5) The housing booms that blight the lives of the next generation, leaving them unable to get on the housing ladder and facing a life of very high rents

6) Student loan repayments acting as a long term burden throughout people’s working lives.

7) The removal of the welfare safety net

On the positive side:

World's eight richest people have same wealth as poorest 50%.

Did anyone think how this would work in a democracy?


The liberal class exist above the hollowing out point and can't see a problem.

The problem is coming to find you.

Ghordius's picture

fine comment

note, though, that some four of your seven points are specifically problems of the US/UK, not the West in general

and nr. 6 is very US specific

hooligan2009's picture

the service sector = the sector of servants, indentured slaves/helots = 80-90% of western employment.

i prefer not to be a slave! - where tf is spartacus when you need him!

SRV's picture

,,, Seriously, have we not had this "rose colored glasses" conversation enough times yet... meh

hooligan2009's picture

it's all double dutch - the only thing that the Dutch system guarantees is that no voter gets what they vote for - what a mess.

you either get a one party state or a dilution of principles of all parties so that nothing gets done and politicians get to continue feeding at the taxpayers trough.

zvzzt's picture

Yes that is true, but there is an advantage to the low threshold/fragmentation. It is relatievely easy to start a new party and grow from there onwards. Geert Wilders used to be in the VVD camp, but left mainly because of the EU and immigration differences. If there are only 2 or 3 parties, there is effectively no way to get in between. Having said that, due to fragmentation coalitions are needed so a 'true spirit' of a party never gets in goverment. So basically no real difference from a 2-3 party system. The only good thing is the "relative ease" to gain a new platform. 

There is also a new party this time going for total democracy: there is no party line and their members of parliament vote 1-on-1 what has been polled with all partymembers at home. Interesting development, I think. Good or bad, not sure yet. 

SRV's picture

Well it's clear the Dutch actually have a range of views in their system, unlike the US that has one party serving the globalists (DNC/RNC) with the only option a complete non politico willing to fight the entire machine (resuts mixed to date)

... so there's that

Joe A's picture

Because of our system, there always have to be coalition parties. That means compromises have to be made. That gave rise to the famous Poldermodel but it also gave rise to current discontent among the electorate because nobody ever gets what he/she voted for. Instead people get a system with little ideological differences and little opposition politics. And the policitians might be ideologically different but they all went to the same universities and student societies so they all make sure they all get nice cushy jobs on the job carrousel.

Commentators in NL wonder why there is so much discontent considering the economy is doing well. Well, it is because of the above.

SRV's picture

Is there a party in that incredible list advocating for the release of the MH17 (that Putin personally shot down) flight Black Boxes they've had under wraps (with zero media curiosity) for over two years?

Nightjar's picture

I will vote #PVV as long as they keep polling a lead, when they crash I will vote #FVD. Sieg Heil o/.

lolmao500's picture

PVV needs to be elected to destroy the EU's BS. GO PVV!