News of: Thursday, March 03 2011,

Provincial elections: Amsterdam remains progressive city

Yesterdays elections for the Provinces (and the Senate) in the Netherlands will probably not lead to a majority for the government parties.

The current government of the Netherlands is a coalition government of Liberal Conservatives and Christian Democrats, with support of the right wing anti-islam 'Freedom Party' (PVV).

The Senate ('Eerste Kamer') is not as powerful as Parliament, but it can vote against intended legislation. Unlike Parliament, the Senate can not send the government home, change upcoming legislation or initiate legislation.

The three parties that form the government will probably get 37 of the 75 seats in the Senate, just 1 seat short of a majority. This may mean that important pieces of legislation will not be passed.

The big winner of the elections is the anti-Islam PVV, which gained about 12% of all votes. The Christian Democrats lose half of their seats.

Amsterdam remains the socialist, progressive city it has always been.
Unlike in most parts of the country, the Social Democrats increased from 23% to 28% of the votes, and they remain the largest party in Amsterdam.
Socialist parties have won 52% of the votes in Amsterdam, together with the Liberal Democrats they have two third of the votes. The PVV has 8.4% of the votes in Amsterdam.

The elections for the Senate in the Netherlands are indirect. Dutch citizens get to vote for their province government. The people who get elected vote for the Senate. This will happen on May 23, so only then it will be absolutely certain which party gets how many seats in the Senate.