Missing Pim

by Andrew Stuttaford

Although the overall rhetoric of the Dutch election was far more euroskeptic than is usually the case, the election itself was a victory for the suicide pact set.

The BBC reports:

Voters in the Netherlands have backed two pro-European centrist parties, while the anti-immigrant Geert Wilders’ Eurosceptic party took heavy losses. Prime Minister Mark Rutte claimed victory for his liberal VVD party. Centre-left Labour came a close second. Both parties performed better than predicted, seeking a pan-European solution to the eurozone crisis.  Mr Rutte said he was working hard to form a coalition but would not be drawn on whether he would approach Labour. The two leading parties have enough seats between for a workable coalition – but would have to reconcile very different views on austerity.  The VVD took 41 seats in the 150-member lower house, two more than Labour.

Dutch voters returned to parties of the centre, following recent elections which produced highly fragmented results and multi-party coalitions. The Freedom Party of Geert Wilders, which is known for being fiercely anti-Islam, and campaigned on a Eurosceptic platform, won 15 seats, well down on its previous 24.  The Socialist Party, which briefly led in opinion polls, came joint third with 15 seats, the same result as at the 2010 election.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the election outcome strengthened Europe and weakened populists and nationalists….

Let’s just say that Wilders did not fight a good campaign.

There’s no doubt about it: the superstate crowd are back on the march.

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