In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders' Freedom Party (PVV) appears to be the biggest winner of the European Union elections.
Wilders' stunning poll results in the European 2009 elections in Holland augur well for his growing popularity with his fellow Dutch. If, Wilders ultimately claims 5 of the 25 seats allotted to Holland by the EU parliament, that could translate into an estimated 31 of the 153 seats available in the Hague parliament. According to sources, Wilders' PVV (Freedom Party) currently has 9 seats. If an election was held, today, given Wilders' European Parliament results, that could more than triple the Freedom Party's current representation. It would appear that his 'messages' have aroused interest among his fellow Dutch. This is especially significant in the wake of his ejection from the U.K., in January by order of now disgraced former Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, who resigned her post over a scandal involving her husband. Wilders arrives in Los Angeles Friday where he will receive a Hero of Conscience Award from the American Freedom Alliance on Sunday evening at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.
by Davion Ford, Netherlands Radio, June 4, 2009
Late Thursday night, with almost 25% of the votes counted, the PVV was on course of gaining five seats in the European Parliament. It equalled Christian Democrats CDA, which lost two. The PvdA Labour party was set to lose four of its current seven seats.
The conservative VVD and liberal pro-European D66 both took 3 seats, with the VVD losing one seat and D66 winning two. Green Left and the Christian Union-SGP coalition remained steady at two seats each. The PvdD (Animals Rights Party) appeared to win its first parliamentary seat in Brussels.
There were 25 Dutch seats to be contested in the EU elections. Five years ago, the figure was 27. Turnout for the elections was 40 percent, a fraction higher than for the last EU elections five years ago.
If the forecasted results stand, then Dutch voters have given the Freedom Party a solid bloc, which may allow Mr Wilders to push ahead with anti-immigration initiatives. Mr Wilders is known for his anti-Islam stance and his outspoken critical view on Europe. His party has vowed to prevent Turkey from ever joining the European Union.
The PVV's share of the vote is around 15 percent - if similar results were replicated in national elections then Geert Wilders' party would be one of the biggest in the Netherlands. Analysts put the success in the European elections for Wilders down to his clear anti-European stand. In Rotterdam the PVV became the biggest party with 22 percent.
Citizens in the UK also went to the polls today, but those results will not be released until Sunday when most of the other 27 EU member states vote.
More than 375 million people are eligible to vote in the EU Parliamentary election, but opinion polls indicate high voter apathy and the turnout is predicted to be low.
Posted on 06/04/2009 7:01 PM by Jerry Gordon