LIVEBLOG: Dutch Elections 2012

Politics

Today is election day in Holland. The first results are turning up, and I’ll be liveblogging the whole event. The big question is Europe, yes or no. Do we send more money to Greece and other failing economies within the European Union, or do we withdraw? Socialists and Populists both want to exit the EU, while Labour (PvdA) and LibDem (D66) want to further tie our economy with the Union.

A little intro on the Dutch Parliament. It has 150 seats. Last election (2010) was won by the ‘VVD’, with 31 seats. Because you need to have 50% of the seats +1 (76), they formed a coalition with CDA (Christian Democrats) and the PVV (right-wing Populists). In two years, they got nothing done, and when things HAD to be done, it fell apart. And now, we have new elections. It’s been a race between the Labour Party (PvdA), and the VVD (Liberals).

Final Prognosis (as of 21:30):

  • VVD – 41 (+10)
  • PvdA – 40 (+10)
  • SP – 15 (+-0)
  • CDA – 13 (-8)
  • PVV – 13 (-11)
  • D66 – 12 (+2)
  • GroenLinks – 4 (-6)
  • ChristenUnie – 4 (-1)
  • 50Plus – 3 (+3)
  • SGP – 3 (+1)
  • PvdD – 2 (+-0)

Current Standings (at ~80%)

  • VVD – 41
  • PvdA – 39
  • PVV – 15
  • CDA – 13
  • SP – 15
  • D66 – 12
  • GroenLinks – 3
  • ChristenUnie – 5
  • SGP – 3
  • PvdD – 2
  • 50Plus – 2

(turnout: 73%, -2%)
Below are the updates, whenever something big happens, I’ll blog about it. (Update: after 6 hours of blogging, the final entry has been written. There will be no more updates. Good night.)

21:00: First prognosis, VVD (Liberals) 41 seats (+10), PvdA (Labour) 40 seats (+10), SP (Socialists) 15 (+-0), CDA (Christian Democrats) 13 (-8), PVV (Freedom Populist Party) 13 (-11), D66 (Liberal Democrats) 12 (+2), Groenlinks (Green) 4 (-6). PvdD (Animal Party) 2 (+-0), 50Plus (Elderly Party) 3 (+3).

This is just a prognosis, a final poll. Actual results might vary. Final Prognosis will be broadcast at 21:30, until then!

21:25: Approximately 5 minutes until the next poll result. No final results known as of yet, the voting booths have just closed at 9pm. Some people are satisfied with their win, others are disappointed at their loss. I am satisfied with the meager win by my party, D66, and the big loss of the right-wing populists, the PVV. I’m still waiting, it’s close.

21:30: PvdA is closing in on VVD, but the amount of seats stay the same in the final final prognosis. The turnout seems to be about 73%. The presenter is having technical problems with the giant, American-style touchscreen.

21:45: Schiermonnikoog has the honor of posting the first results. It has 933 inhabitants. PvdA has 30,9%, VVD has 22,3%. A clear victory for the Labour Party,  but with about 600 votes cast, this won’t be a good indicator. My party, D66, has 9,2% of the votes. Their mortal enemies, PVV, has only 2,9%. Great success! I’m not going to post every result as of now, but some significant cities will receive an update, including my hometown (Leiden).

21:55: results are slowly dripping in. D66-frontman Alexander Pechtold is making a speech at the moment. He congratulates PvdA and VVD with their victories. He is happy with the results, because the party would’ve been ‘eaten’ by the rival parties, because they are between the two on the political spectrum (Left/Right).

22:05: just for laughs, professional poller Maurice de Hond, posted his final exit poll. He couldn’t be more wrong.

22:10: Liesbeth Spies, CDA party member, speaks of a ‘political landslide’. All around the world, tweets are going out celebrating the Pro-EU victory and the anti-EU demise. A good day for Brussels, Joris Luyendijk tweets. Even an Indian newspaper talks about the EU-wide impact these elections could have.

22:15: PVV-leader Geert Wilders is holding his speech at the moment. He acknowledges his defeat, but promises he’ll be back for the next elections.

22:25: former Prime Minister Wim Kok, and predecessor to current leader Samsom, Wouter Bos, congratulate Samsom with his gigantic win. Two weeks ago, PvdA was lagging behind with <20 seats. He’s managed to double this number by winning debate after debate. It’s still unclear which party is going to win, but it’s looking good for the VVD-party. However, this could all change once the big cities have been announced (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht).

22:35: Emile Roemer (SP) enters the stage. Although not having won any seats, he enters the stage as if he has won the elections. Appearance is everything I guess. He congratulates Rutte (VVD) and Samsom (PvdA) with their winnings, but the crowd only applauds meagerly. He thanks the volunteers for their efforts.

22:40: It’s Sybrand van Haersma Buma’s (CDA) turn to go up the stage. Under the tune of “We get knocked down, but we get up again” (I forgot the name of the song) he enters the crowd. He starts off in a serious demeanor, because of the grand defeat his party has had to suffer today. He as well congratulates the winners. He emphasises the pressure on the shoulders of these parties to perform well. He gets cut off, because  Jolande Sap (GroenLinks) enters the stage. She acknowledges her defeat, and celebrates the fact D66, PvdA and CDA have won, as well as the fact that PVV lost.

22:55: More results are coming in, but still no big cities. Arie Slob is talking to his party members about their prospectives.

23:00: Let’s do a little maths. We’re going to calculate the electoral threshold, or the amount of votes one needs to earn a seat in parliament. There are about 13 million people who are eligible to vote. The turnout is 73%, and the amount of seats is 150. (13oooooo x .73) / 150 = 63K votes. Having 41 seats, means that about 2,6 million people have voted for the VVD.

23:10: Samsom takes the stage at the PvdA convention. Security is needed to make a way for him to get to the stage. The room is going crazy. He’s a resident of my hometown, Leiden. He thanks the party, and orates against polarisation. It seems like he is ready to work together with VVD to form a coalition. He points out the fact that the past coalition, of VVD, PVV and CDA, has lost their majority (67 seats). His supporters seem ready to create another ‘purple’-coalition, like the ones formed in ’94 and ’98.

23:25: More results coming in, showing how PVV and CDA loose, where VVD and PvdA win. Rutte is about to take the stage, nobody knows exactly when.

23:30: Rutte enters the fray. He says he is overwhelmed by the trust given to him by the people. He, too, is having problems reaching the stage. Reporters are holding him back, but he’s now leaving to step up the stage. He is congratulated along the way by numerous enthusiastic party members, all wanting to embrace him in their arms. It takes a while for him to reach the stage, even longer than Samsom. He is, like Samsom, also surrounded by security, but in this case, they might want to hire new people, since it is taking about 10 minutes for him to reach the stage.

23:45: It took him a grand total of 15 minutes to get to the stage, but now that he’s there, he thinks it necessary to shake everyone’s hand. As a true politician, he congratulates the others, and thanks their supporters. He invites Stef Blok and a woman I do not know by name to the stage. He talks some political bullshit and his place on the stage is taken over by some singing idiots.

23:55: I’m going to take a little break, stretch my legs for a bit. All of the party-leaders have made their speech, and it’s now a waiting game. I expect to be back in about 20 minutes.

0:10: Shit. Fuck. I missed Amsterdam. I only saw the final page, which saw a significant increase for D66. I take it that PvdA is still the largest. BUT, on a more important note, after 13,6% of the votes count, they’re making a new prognosis:

  • VVD – 41
  • PvdA – 37
  • PVV – 16
  • SP  – 16
  • CDA – 15
  • D66 – 12
  • ChristenUnie – 4
  • GL – 3
  • 50Plus – 3
  • SGP – 2
  • PvdD – 2

So, VVD remains biggest, but PvdA loses a few seats compared to the final prognosis. PVV and CDA lose a few less, SP wins a seat. But, it’s only at 13,6%, so nothing can be said as of now.

0:16: My sister had a job today, to count the votes in ‘het Westland’, where I grew up. She says 42,8% voted VVD. I actually have some news before it breaks mainstream. Fuck yeah. Thanks, lil’ sis!

0:25: New Standing (25%)

  • VVD – 41
  • PvdA – 39
  • PVV – 15
  • CDA – 13
  • SP – 15
  • D66 – 12
  • GroenLinks – 3
  • ChristenUnie – 5
  • SGP – 3
  • PvdD – 2
  • 50Plus – 2

0:35: Alexander Rinnooy Kan, D66 party member and political heavyweight (mainly in financial committees) claims this election is a victory for the political midst. If D66 becomes a coalition-member, he would be THE person for Minister of Finance. If I might say so.

0:43: VVD wins some votes, but PvdA is still the biggest while the PVV and CDA lose a lot in one of our most important cities, The Hague. Which is where our parliament is seated. Just so you know, our government isn’t seated in our capitol. Strange, huh? It took until 1983 to officialy name Amsterdam our capitol, which is when our constitution was changed last time.

0:52: Even though Rutte has stated he might not continue paying Greece, if they need more money, German news outlets call him “Merkel’s biggest friend in Europe”. He didn’t want to comment in front of their camera’s.

1:08: Ivo Opstelten (VVD), former mayor of Rotterdam is in front of the microphone. On the question if they want to form a coalition with PvdA, he’s quick to NOT deny they would do that. Which is, in the Lingua Politica, saying they ARE going to form a coalition with PvdA. You heard it here first!

1:15: A slightly drunk Ronald Plasterk (PvdA), former Minister of Education, is having trouble to stand still. But he too, won’t deny they will go into talks with VVD. He actually says they have to ‘work together’. Oh wow, he is really drunk.

1:18: New standings (~60%)

  • VVD – 40
  • PvdA – 39
  • PVV – 15
  • CDA – 13
  • SP – 15
  • D66 – 12
  • GroenLinks – 3
  • ChristenUnie – 5
  • SGP – 3
  • PvdD – 3
  • 50Plus – 2

1:26: This result… It reminds me a bit of people making excuses for themselves. Every party that lost big (CDA, PVV, GroenLinks), their leaders are making excuses just to stay on as party leader. “We had too little time” (Sap, GroenLinks), or “The rivalry between PvdA and VVD ate us up” (Buma, CDA) and Wilders. Well, Wilders doesn’t need an excuse. He’s the Führer. He IS the party. Not saying he’s like Hitler. Kinda.

1:33: I’m sitting here, in my comfy chair with my laptop on my lap blogging on it. Watching Hans Spekman (PvdA) being ridiculous, listening to music on the background on Grooveshark through my desktop which I remotely control with my cellphone. The only thing missing is a giant plug to go in the back of my neck, Matrix-style.

1:35: New standings:

  • VVD – 40
  • PvdA – 39
  • PVV – 15
  • CDA – 13
  • SP – 15
  • D66 – 12
  • GroenLinks – 3
  • ChristenUnie – 5
  • SGP – 3
  • PvdD – 3
  • 50Plus – 2

As you might’ve noticed. It is the same as the last one. But according to the anchorman, the difference between the two parties is slimming down.

1:43: My hometown, Leiden, finally came through. PvdA is still biggest, with 30,0% of the votes, leaving VVD trailing at 20,5%. D66 is the third largest party in Leiden, and 15,2%. I’m proud. Leiden, you did good.

1:52: Fuck you Google. You keep stealing work from us honest bloggers. Ah well. This might come in handy. Click this link for a map of all the electoral results

2:06: New results

  • VVD – 41
  • PvdA – 39 (-100,000 votes)
  • PVV – 15
  • CDA – 13
  • SP – 15
  • D66 – 12
  • GroenLinks – 3
  • ChristenUnie – 5
  • SGP – 3
  • PvdD – 3
  • 50Plus – 2

A fellow Felix (Rothenberg) is now cramping the microphone. Although not really playing a role for the PvdA, he is a prominent member of the party through multiple TV programs. He is the first stating compatibility problems between VVD and PvdA.

2:22: It’s fair to say that VVD has won, and PvdA has come second. The difference between the two parties is about 100K votes, which is not something the final 20% of votes is going to change. NOS, my primary newssource, is already reminiscing earlier events during the evening. It’s going to take a while before the former colonial territories have counted their votes, if they even voted at all. I’m going to continue for a little while, but it won’t take long before I call it quits.

2:33: Apparently, we are waiting for the victory speech of Mark Rutte (VVD). It might take a while. After that, I’m really going to call it quits. I’m out of beer, and I don’t want to stumble downstairs to get new ones. Having no beer makes me grumpy. meh.

2:47: Finally. My salvation. Rutte is approaching the stage.

2:50: Under the guidance of Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, Rutte is once again approaching the stage. He has won these elections with about 100,000 votes difference between his party, VVD and the PvdA, roughly translating in a difference of 2 seats in parliament. Rutte’s first name is being chanted by the crowd. He states he had a phonecall from Samsom congratulating him with the victory, in return he complimented Samsom for his spirit. Rutte explains he will try his best to realise as much of his program as possible; he wants to be able to look the voter in the eye during the next election. 

I too, shall congratulate Rutte. I’m too tired at the moment to continue, and things have run its course. It’s done. Thank you for reading, I had some positive reactions through Reddit and some decent pageviews (about 400). Most of them came through Reddit (150), Twitter (70), Google (40) and Facebook (30). I thank you. It has been a good night. I’m going to bed.

Signing off,

Felix.

 

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