BBB almost certainly 17 seats in the Senate

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BBB almost certainly 17 seats in the Senate

The BoerBurgerBeweging (BBB) ‚Äč‚Äčnevertheless ends up with 17 seats in the Senate, making it by far the largest. Caroline van der Plas’s party initially had 16 seats, according to the earlier provisional forecast. D66 surrenders seats and comes to 5. ‘That is certainly ouch for D66,’ says political reporter Sophie van Leeuwen. ‘They are now just as small as the CDA in the Senate.’

BBB leader Caroline van der Plas during a brunch at the party office of the BoerBurgerBeweging, a day after the provincial elections. (ANP / ANP / Sem van der Wal)

D66 drops back to 5 instead of the previously calculated 6 seats, GroenLinks and PvdA, with 8 and 7 seats respectively, together amount to 15 seats. That is 1 more than the two parties now have in the senate. The VVD is in third place with 10 seats. According to Van Leeuwen, the Democrats were punished in the Provincial Council elections because of that loud nitrogen noise.

‘This is certainly ouch for D66’

Sophie van Leeuwen, political correspondent BNR

Now that the dust has settled, it appears that Rutte’s coalition only has 22 seats left in the Senate. “BBB is already about as big as the entire coalition put together.” And that means no majority of the coalition plus the left cloud to the left. ‘GroenLinks and PvdA, they won’t make it, so they have to do business with the BBB.’

According to Van Leeuwen, these are ugly setbacks for both the coalition and the left, ‘Rutte will have to do business with BBB more emphatically. And I’ve heard they may start talking as early as today. And it’s probably also about nitrogen.’ Van Leeuwen does not rule out cooperation on the right in the Senate.

‘The story that D66 insisted on is too big’

Sophie van Leeuwen, political correspondent BNR

And that means that many ambitions from the left and the center regarding a possible agricultural agreement will have to be swallowed. ‘The story that D66 insisted on as halving the nitrogen, halving the number of cows; it’s too big. There is no support for that at all. It is still in the coalition agreement, but halving nitrogen in 2030 is not going to happen.’

Fewer coalition seats

In the new forecast, the coalition of VVD (10), D66 (5), CDA (5) and CU (2) will have 22 seats, 10 fewer than the government parties now have. 38 seats are needed for a majority in the Senate, which has 75 seats. The coalition already lacked a majority in the senate and now has even fewer seats. This means that the coalition must gather more support from left-wing or right-wing parties in order to get policy through.

The CDA in particular, which lost heavily in the provincial elections on Wednesday, will receive fewer Senate seats. The party had 9 and there are 5 left. The other coalition parties each lose two seats: VVD goes from 12 to 10, D66 from 7 to 5 and ChristenUnie drops from 4 to 2.

Forum for Democracy, the party that became the largest in the Senate in 2019 with 12 seats, won 2 Senate seats. Incidentally, the party had already lost 11 senators, because they split into three other factions. The rest of the senate is expected to consist of: PVV (5, remains the same), PvdD (4, was 3), SP (3, was 4), and JA21 (3, had 7 as Nanninga faction). Newcomer Volt, 50PLUS, SGP and OSF each get 1 seat. The last remaining seat may go to the PVV or to the SGP.

The new members of Parliament and electoral colleges will elect the senators at the end of May. Incidentally, Members of Parliament are not obliged to vote for a candidate of their own party, but this usually happens. In addition, the parties can still make agreements with each other to win Senate seats.


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