Preliminary election results:
These results are based on exit polls, but last time the exit polls misassigned only two seats. Of course, if one of these two seats belongs to PvdA or VVD, the two top dogs might switch place.
Clearly an even bigger part of the vote than predicted shifted to VVD and PvdA, who duked it out in a classic prime-minister race and helped each other win voters from other parties in their own blocks.
Whatever the foreign press will say, this is not a case of voters running towards sensible, pro-Europe centre parties. That was the net result, but the cause was that both parties in the race happened to be more-or-less pro-Europe and not as extremist as SP and PVV. If SP and VVD had raced it out, as everybody expected until two weeks back, the result would have been difficult to interpret for foreign observers.
Of course, now VVD and PvdA have to form a Purple coalition. That means they’ll repeat the mistakes of the original Purple coalition: PvdA becoming too pro-market, VVD being forced to shut up about immigration. The next elections will see a terrible beating of PvdA and VVD and wins for SP and PVV. That’s the obvious result of a centrist coalition.
The public opinion on especially immigration has shifted towards the VVD point of view since the original Purple, and that will help it some.
The only real alternative to Purple is PvdA+SP+CDA+D66, but D66 said a few times it doesn’t really want to rule with the SP. Still, the fact is that when it comes to government formation the PvdA has a choice, and the VVD doesn’t. For the VVD it’s Purple or nothing. That evens the balance a bit.
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This is the political blog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer, in Amsterdam. It’s a hobby blog where he follows Dutch politics for the benefit of those twelve foreigners that are interested in such matters, as well as his Dutch readers.