Dutch General Election 2023 (Update)

On 22 November there will be a general election in the Netherlands for the Tweede Kamer (the House of Representatives) after the PM and his cabinet resigned in July due to disagreement about migration policy. Lots of information can be found here.

I don’t live in the Netherlands , but I am still registered as a “voter abroad“. I receive the voting forms by regular mail and email. Left is the voting form, as you see we have a crazy number (25!) of political parties. Right the list of candidates for one of the parties. To vote you mark the party of your choice, and in the lower part the number of the candidate of your choice.

Voting is anonymous, this is how it works for postal voting. By regular mail I received several weeks ago two envelopes, one white, one orange. The voting form goes into the white envelope, which then is sealed. You sign a consent form, make a photocopy of your passport and put them together with the white envelope in the orange outer envelope. You can send this envelope by regular mail to the Hague, where the polling center for voters abroad is located. But I prefer the option to deliver the document myself at the embassy.

The consular section of the Dutch embassy is located on the 12th floor of the modern Naza tower. I traveled by public transport (MRT and LRT) to KLCC, from where I walked the last part. Lot of construction going on in that region. Nice modern sculptures, the right one is in front of the Naza tower

Normal procedure is to make an appointment with the embassy, where you get a date and a timeslot. But in this case there is no need, as I only wanted to hand over the envelope. The security asked, is it for voting, and when I confirmed, gave me an access card for the elevator. I was in and out in ten minutes 😉 Left the envelope as I had prepared it at home, right the moment that I hand it over to the smiling embassy guy.

I walked back through the KLCC park,

Construction of the huge (but fake) Christmas tree was already in progress. But inside KLCC it was still Deepavali mood. Beautiful decorations.

I decided to have a coffee and a snack at my favourite (but very expensive) Kinokuniya coffee shop. Then it was time to go back home. Same way, from KLCC I took the LRT to Pasar Seni, where I changed to the MRT to Damansara Mutiara. I was lucky, the feeder bus to Damansara Perdana was already waiting. Mission accomplished.

I will write an appendix to this post when the results of the election are out. in about one week time. Then I will also reveal which party I voted for 😉

————– Appendix —————-

.I wrote “in about one week time“, but it is now more than two weeks after the election The results have shocked me.

The Tweede Kamer (House of Representatives) has 150 Seats. Fifteen parties managed to win seats. For a majority government you need a coalition with more than 75 seats. Here are the results for parties with at least 5 seats, here is the full list. The table has Wikipedia links to a party and its leader, the percentage of votes and the number of seats. For comparison I also give the number of seats after the 2021 election. More about the last column below.

PartyParty LeaderVotes %Seats 2023Seats 2021Postal votes %
PVVWilders23.53717~ 6
GL/PvdATimmermans15.8251728.6
VVDYeşilgöz15.2243417.4
NSCOmtzigt12.12012.9
D66Jetten6.392410.5
BBBvan der Plas4.771
CDABontenbal3.3515
SPMarijnissen3.259

The shock is the unexpectedly large vote gain of the far right-wing PVV, led by the xenophobic and Islamophobic populist Geert Wilders, sometimes nicknamed the Dutch Trump. I voted for the left-wing GL/PvdA party, who also won, but not enough. The last column shows the voting percentages of the postal voters (abroad). Notice the dramatic differences. If “we expats” had to form a government, it would quite possibly be a coalition of left-wing GL/PvdA with left-center D66 and center-right NSC, Together more than 50% of the (postal) votes.

But of course that is wishful thinking. Our new government will probably be a right-wing one of ultra-right PVV, center-right VVD, center-right NSC and center BBB. But first many obstacles have to be removed. Several of the PVV’s positions are unconstitutional, such as banning Islamic schools, forbidding Qurans and not allowing Muslim immigrants to enter the country.

Personally I find it very difficult to accept that Wilders might become the next Prime Minister. We will wait and see.

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