Friday, 24 March 2017

My analysis of by-election results from 23/3/17 and the City of London elections

Readers, the votes cast in this week's local by-elections this week were as follows:

Herefordshire UA, Leominster South: Green 318 (40.8%, +10.1%), It's Our County 143 (18.3%), Conservative 139 (17.8%, -8.7%), No Description 116 (14.9%), Liberal Democrats 64 (8.2%). Green gain from Conservative

West Somerset DC, Dunster & Timberscombe: Liberal Democrats 174 (49.7%), Conservative 115 (32.9%, -26.7%), Green 38 (10.9%, -29.6%), Labour 23 (6.6%). Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative.

Blackburn with Darwen UA, Higher Croft**: Labour 445 (59.6%, -10.4%), UKIP 169 (22.6%), Conservative 133 (17.8%, -12.2%)

**This particular by-election result has been declared null and void, on the grounds that the victorious Labour candidate, Adam Holden, was actually disqualified from standing from election due to having paid employment with Growth Lancashire, which is owned by six authorities within Lancashire of which Blackburn with Darwen Council is one. He is therefore ineligible to stand for office under s.80(1) of the Local Government Act 1972 as long as he holds this position.

It is rather rare for there to be a second local by-election gain from the Green Party in only five weeks, but rural areas out in the West of England, and West Mercia (Herefordshire, Shropshire, and Worcestershire) are proving fertile ground for Green politics, especially in places where Labour has never had any significant support (due to simply lacking the requisite voter base more than anything else) and where the Liberal Democrats are no longer in contention. A lack of endorsement from the It's Our County group (who made some pacts with the Green Party in the 2015 elections in Herefordshire) proved to be no hindrance to the Green Party, who have been well-organised and respected in Leominster for many years. The fact that the Conservatives finished third here is a sign of increasing resentment of the Conservatives in rural areas which many of them still treat as natural fiefdoms in the same way Labour view many inner-city areas as natural fiefdoms.

When the Liberal Democrats get organised in these areas, however, the task becomes much more difficult for the Green Party, as the Dunster & Timberscombe result showed. The Liberal Democrats came from nowhere, in what is their weakest area in Somerset (a county where the Liberal Democrats have traditionally had strong support overall), to manage a 38.2% swing from the Conservatives, which at the same time caused one of the heaviest hits to the Green Party's vote share in a local by-election. In reality this margin of victory was only by 59 votes, as the ward contains fewer than 2000 people. The Green Party were the only opponents to the Conservatives in these villages in 2015; this time the Liberal Democrats and Labour entered. In spite of this the Green Party still finished ahead of Labour, although this is generally par for the course almost anywhere in Somerset even when the Green Party do not win the seat in question.

In the midst of all this, the City of London Corporation, a sui generis authority which is the only remaining council in the UK to have a business franchise (which it has had for over 800 years), and the only remaining UK council to have aldermen (25, to be precise), held its full elections. Because businesses frequently nominate candidates in many of the wards without a significant resident population, large numbers of councillors being elected unopposed is generally a foregone conclusion. The City of London's council is traditionally non-partisan, but this City of London Corporation election resulted in a political group being elected for the very first time, since Labour managed to win 5 seats. This is partly due to the fact that the City of London absorbed a small area from Tower Hamlets approximately 20 years ago, which has made Labour a viable prospect in some areas of the City of London (Cripplegate and Portsoken in particular), where other political parties do not even field candidates there. Nevertheless, control remains in the hands of Independent councillors, who for the most part are determined to defend the City of London's ancient privileges and financial power.

We are now at this point only six weeks away from the next round of local elections in Britain (Scotland and Wales will be having council elections as well). In England, the main points of contention at present are how much the Conservatives can recover from 2013 when they lost many county council seats to UKIP, whether Labour declines in key battleground areas to the extent polls predict them to (Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire in particular), whether the Liberal Democrats can make any comeback in the South West after all, the impending disintegration of UKIP support in most counties, and whether the Greens can achieve their potential in rural areas whilst at the same time countering Labour's challenge in such cities as Cambridge, Norwich, and Oxford.

My revised proposals: Yorkshire & The Humber

I have been grappling with Yorkshire regarding the 2018 Boundary Review for days, given how strong the objections are to many of the Boundary Commission's initial proposals, and how many counter-proposals have been submitted. The ward sizes in West Yorkshire's metropolitan boroughs pose a serious problem in drawing up allowable and suitable constituencies; the target range is only 7,477 (71,030 to 78,507) yet many wards in Leeds on 2015 electorate numbers have electorates more than double that target range, and the wards of the other West Yorkshire metropolitan boroughs are very large, given that all of these councils hold elections by thirds and will continue to do so for a long time.

The strongest objections in particular concern moving Bradford wards into constituencies not centred on Bradford, moving Tong into any Leeds constituency given the poor connections of Tong ward, pairing Brighouse with Halifax even though there are no proper connections between those two towns, and merging Pudsey with western Leeds. I initially considered restoring the old constituencies of Skipton, Ripon, and Brighouse & Spenborough to deal with these problems and the uneven size and varying shape of the wards of the city of Leeds (since reviving Batley & Morley appears to work out nicely at first). However, I discovered this was not a practical solution, as reuniting all of the old Craven area (by taking Barnoldswick, Earby, and Sedbergh back from the North West, as well as taking in the Craven ward of Keighley) would not be in the best interests of surrounding constituencies, and residents of Brighouse have made it clear they wish to continue to be paired with Sowerby. There have been considerable objections to reviving Batley & Morley and recreating the 1918-1950 constituency of Spen Valley (which would have to take in Bradford wards; see above) and given that unnecessary change to existing constituencies should not occur, I concur with these objections and believe Batley & Spen should be kept intact.

The Pudsey situation can be resolved by taking the polling districts of Otley & Yeadon that comprise the town of Yeadon, which will more importantly bring it up to quota as well as reuniting the old districts. Pudsey has remained largely unchanged since 1950 and should retain its natural composition apart from the small change I have described above. Meanwhile, Leeds West merely needs to add a ward (same with Leeds East), and the area of Cookridge can remain together by expanding Leeds North West into the outer reaches of Bradford that were part of the pre-1983 Ripon constituency i.e. Ilkley and Wharfedale. The Headingley, Hyde Park and City areas can be combined (as they essentially have been in the most recent boundary review of Leeds City Council's wards) into a new version of Leeds Central, at the cost of reviving the awkward Morley & Leeds South constituency of 1983-1997 and creating splits in current wards (as opposed to future wards that will be used in Leeds from 2018 onwards).

It is also correct to state that Doncaster should not be split East and West, but rather North and Central as before, as Doncaster Central broadly covers Doncaster itself but Doncaster North covers outlying villages. In light of this, major modifications are needed to many of my South Yorkshire proposals, and many ward splits are needed to create coherent, acceptable constituencies, although my proposals for East Yorkshire can remain unaffected, and I believe that the BCE's proposals for North Yorkshire are sound enough, given that under this new plan it is not possible to avoid extending the current Selby & Ainsty constituency.

My revised proposals for Yorkshire & the Humber look like this:

Part 1 (West Yorkshire)

Part 2 (South Yorkshire)

Part 3 (North Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire)

Bradford West is abolished.
Barnsley East is abolished.
Sheffield Heeley is abolished.
Brigg & Goole is abolished.
Haltemprice & Howden is abolished.
Brighouse & Sowerby succeeds Calder Valley.
Bradford Central succeeds Bradford East.
Keighley & Bingley succeeds Keighley. Within Bingley ward it contains polling districts 2A, 2E, 2F, 2G, and 2J, making its actual electorate 75,370.
Shipley & Bradford North succeeds Shipley. Within Bingley ward it does not contain polling districts 2A, 2E, 2F, 2G or 2J, making its actual electorate 74,063.
Otley & Leeds North succeeds Leeds North West in practice. Within Otley & Yeadon ward it loses polling districts OYF-OYJ, making its real electorate 78,264 and the expanded Pudsey's real electorate 74,899.
Leeds Central actually succeeds Leeds North East in my revised proposals; the current Leeds Central constituency disappears.
Morley & Leeds South succeeds Morley & Outwood, recreating the 1983-1997 constituency of the same name. Within City & Hunslet ward it does not have polling districts CHA, CHC, CHD, or CHI (the area of which will be part of Little London & Woodhouse ward after local boundary changes in Leeds are affirmed for the 2018 elections onwards), making its actual electorate 76,438 and Leeds Central's new electorate 77,986.
My revised proposal of Colne Valley contains polling districts LD02, LD05 and LD06 of Lindley ward making its new electorate 71,232 and Huddersfield's new electorate 71,045.
Barnsley succeeds Barnsley Central.
Doncaster succeeds Doncaster Central. It loses polling district BA of Balby South ward to Don Valley, making its actual electorate
Elmsall Vale succeeds Doncaster North. Within Ackworth, North Elmsall & Upton ward it contains polling districts 01HH and 01HJ (comprising North Elmsall) making its actual electorate 72,734.
Pontefract succeeds Hemsworth in practice. Within Ackworth, North Elmsall & Upton ward it does not contain polling districts 01HH and 01HJ, making its actual electorate 76,884.
Normanton, Castleford & Outwood succeeds Normanton, Pontefract, & Castleford. Within Wakefield North it contains polling district 17WC, making its actual electorate 71,474 and Wakefield's actual electorate 73,919.
Brigg succeeds Cleethorpes in practice.
Grimsby & Cleethorpes succeeds Great Grimsby, keeping the town together by combining it with Cleethorpes, attached to it in the same way Hove is attached to Brighton.
My revised proposal of Sheffield Hallam contains polling district ZA of Walkley ward making its real electorate 71,153.
Penistone succeeds Penistone & Stocksbridge in practice.
Sheffield Gleadless succeeds Sheffield South East. It does not contain polling districts UE, UF, and UG from Richmond ward, making its actual electorate 72,194 and the new Sheffield Brightside's actual electorate 73,690
Sheffield Hillsborough succeeds Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough in practice. Within Walkley ward it contains polling districts ZE and ZJ, making its actual electorate 72,772. The redrawn Sheffield Central's electorate is therefore 77,282.
Batley & Spen, Dewsbury, Elmet & Rothwell, and Rother Valley are all unchanged.
Sheffield Brightside is a new seat.
Goole & Howden is a new seat.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

My revised proposals: Dorset

Within the second consultation on the 2018 Boundary Review, which ends in five days' time (so do not delay when commenting on the BCE's website!) here have been a considerable number of objections to the drawing of constituencies in the county of Dorset, especially the South East Dorset conurbation covering the authorities of Bournemouth, Poole, and Christchurch; with Ferndown from East Dorset also really part of the same conurbation now.

There have in particular been many arguments in favour of broadly keeping the two Bournemouth constituencies (apart from adding Branksome West to Bournemouth West to pair it with the Branksome East and Alderney wards of Poole already in the current constituency of Bournemouth West) intact, such as the locations of student accommodation, the justified argument that Kinson is an integral part of Bournemouth and not a suburb of it, and that Christchurch has strongly different needs from Bournemouth despite being part of the same conurbation as Bournemouth and Poole. All of these are justified and I have taken them into consideration within my revised proposals. Of the wards in the current Christchurch constituency, the St Leonards ward near Ringwood is not truly part of the conurbation and thus can be safely removed from this constituency, with the remainder wrapping around to take in the 'Poole North' part of the current Mid Dorset & Poole North, leaving simply Mid Dorset to absorb nearly half of the current North Dorset.

A resident near the constituency of South Dorset objected to the fact that South Dorset did not include the West Dorset ward of Chickerell & Chesil Bank, and believed that Weymouth & Portland BC should be extended to include it. Extending local council boundaries is of course outside the remit of this review, but his point about Chickerell having been effectively merged into Weymouth is still valid. Therefore, his wish can be satisfied by adding Chickerell & Chesil Bank ward to South Dorset, which also represents minimal change for South Dorset. West Dorset can compensate by taking in the Winterborne area of the current North Dorset constituency and Bere Regis from Mid Dorset & North Poole, which have good enough road links. My version of the proposed cross-county constituency of Warminster & Shaftesbury (and consequently all of the Wiltshire proposals entirely in Wiltshire) is unaffected by any of these changes.

My revised proposals for Dorset for the 2018 boundary review look like this:

North Dorset is abolished.
Mid Dorset succeeds Mid Dorset & North Poole.
Warminster & Shaftesbury succeeds South West Wiltshire as it does in the original proposals.
Bournemouth East is unchanged; however, West Dorset is not.

With only five days remaining until the second consultation ends, I will sadly not have time to publish on this blog revised proposals for every area of Britain, but will publish those where I feel deviation from the original proposals by the Boundary Commission, and also my own proposals from the first consultation, is most essential.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

On the French Presidential election of 2017 and my tribute to Martin McGuinness

The 11 candidates who have made it onto the first round ballot in the French Presidential election of 2017 are:

Nathalie Arthaud (Workers' Struggle/LO)
Francois Asselineau (Popular Republican Union/UPR)
Jacques Cheminade (Solidarity & Progress/S&P)

Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (France Arise/DLF)
Francois Fillon (The Republicans/LR)
Benoit Hamon (Socialist Party/PS)
Jean Lasselle (Independent)
Marine Le Pen (Front National/FN)
Emmanuel Macron (En Marche!/EM)
Jean-Luc Melenchon (Unsubmissive France/FI)
Phillippe Potou (New Anticapitalist Party/NPA)

How well are they likely to perform, you ask?

It is already clear that whilst five candidates (M. Fillon, M. Hamon, Mme. Le Pen, M. Macron, et M. Melenchon) are polling above 10% and have consistently been doing so, only three of these 11 candidates have a realistic chance of becoming the next French President: economic liberal Francois Fillon, extreme, anti-immigrant, anti-EU nationalist Marine Le Pen, and new moderate Emmanuel Macron, since only those three are likely to make the second round (and of course, only two candidates can enter the second round, assuming no candidate in round one manages 50% of the vote).

I predict that Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen will make it to the second round. Even though Marine Le Pen is the most disliked of the known candidates, her hardline disgruntled nationalist and working-class base is staying with her and making sure she consistently polls 22-27% in opinion polls (which incidentally is not much better than her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who managed 16.86% in 2002 but was heavily defeated in round two by Jacques Chirac), or her own performance as FN candidate in 2012, which was 17.9% and third place. The same cannot be said for Francois Fillon, who is being investigated for embezzlement and misuse of public funds over the Penelopegate scandal, where it has been revealed that his wife Penelope received a salary for being a parliamentary assistant even though she did not do any real work; many middle-class conservatives and traditional moderates are deserting him as a result. Emmanuel Macron, meanwhile, is now being favoured as the candidate to stop Le Pen in the next round, since even his novel, fresh ideas cannot push his opinion poll rating to greater than 26%, partly because of his relative youth (at 39 he is the youngest candidate in the race), his pro-Europeanism (unpopular particularly in the northern areas of France) and unfamiliarity with the En Marche movement amongst tribal voters (personal votes can only take one so far in the French Presidential election).

Benoit Hamon, the PS candidate being endorsed by EELV candidate Yannick Jadot (mostly for tactical reasons; Hamon is no more green than Jeremy Corbyn i.e. not very) is faring much better than Francois Hollande would have been had he decided to run again for President (which he did not) but unlike Corbyn he has to contend with a more hardline socialist rival, namely Jean-Luc Melenchon. Both are polling above 10% but crucially neither are hitting 20% at any time, meaning they have only an outside chance of making round two. The PS brand, more significantly has been severely damaged by the ineptitude of Francois Hollande and a failure of France to improve its fortunes under his tenure or that of Manuel Valls; unemployment still exceeds 10%.

Out of the other six candidates, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan has a small amount of support from Eurosceptics who will not support Le Pen's toxic, 'alt-right' and racist platform but who are tired of the EU's failure to achieve fundamental reform and who are against free trade agreements like CETA and the aborted TTIP. Jean Lassalle will likely only achieve 1-2% and this will mostly come from MoDem voters not willing to support Macron for one reason or another; Francois Bayrou initially planned to run but has now endorsed Macron (MoDem is the closest French equivalent to the Liberal Democrats). Nathalie Arthaud and Phillippe Potou are just dividing up the communist and hardline Marxist vote that is not already supporting Melenchon, and neither is likely to achieve more than 2-3%; the Judean People's Front/People's Front of Judea analogy is an international phenomenon for hardline socialists. Souverainiste Francois Assilineau, known mostly for conspiracy theories, will poll no better than Arthaud or Potou. However, I predict that Jacques Cheminade will be the one to finish last, as candidates of LaRouche movements (the French version is called Solidarity & Progress) across the world invariably do; the LaRouche movement is in political terms an incoherent, incomprehensible joke, even more so than the now defunct Natural Law movement.

On another note, former Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness died earlier today, aged 66. Despite the controversy that hung over him his entire political career due to having had IRA membership (albeit only for some years), he will however be remembered for his crucial role in the peacemaking Good Friday agreement of 1998, and his decision to resign as Deputy First Minister over the Renewable Heat Initiative Scandal earlier this year.

Friday, 17 March 2017

My analysis of local by-elections from 16/3/17

Readers, the results of local by-elections from this week were as follows:

Blackpool UA, Warwick: Conservative 728 (54.8%, +17.5%), Labour 468 (35.2%, +6.3%), UKIP 75 (5.6%, -13.4%), Liberal Democrats 57 (4.3%, -2.8%).

Breckland DC, Saham Toney: Conservative 305 (48.1%, -2.7%), Liberal Democrats 105 (15.1%), Independent 104 (14.9%), UKIP 80 (11.5%, -20.1%), Labour 72 (10.3%).

Newcastle-upon-Tyne MBC, South Heaton: Labour 768 (46.8%, -11.8%) Green 444 (27.1%, +1.7%), Liberal Democrats 260 (15.9%, +11.5%), UKIP 88 (5.4%, -1.5%) Conservative 80 (4.9%, +0.2%). All changes are since May 2016.

South Ribble DC, Walton le Dale East: Conservative 359 (49.4%, -5.1%), Labour 262 (36.0%, -9.4%), Liberal Democrats 106 (14.6%).

There may only have been four British local by-elections this week, but together they can paint a good picture of what is happening politically within Britain between the five largest parties. In rural areas which are normally solidly Conservative, UKIP is fast ceasing to be a viable protest vote in any fashion and the Liberal Democrats, Greens, and Independents (depending on the rural area in question) are moving in. It was therefore unfortunate that the Green Party did not stand in the Saham Toney by-election, because there are many environmentally-inclined rural voters out there, as the Greens show in Stroud, Malvern Hills, Herefordshire etc. on a regular basis. Good news for the Green Party did come in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, with their well-known candidate Andrew Gray managing to make headway against Labour even though he still did not win. The Liberal Democrats hit the Labour vote hard but also inadvertently obstructed the Greens in their efforts. Meanwhile, Labour are once again slipping back in key small-town marginal seats, as shown by them falling back in Walton le Dale East with the Lib Dems' intervention doing more damage to Labour than to the Conservatives (the proportion of vote share lost, as well as actual vote share decrease, must be accounted for). UKIP is also collapsing in coastal towns and cities where it has previously had surprisingly good results, usually to the benefit of the Conservatives more than Labour. This will prove in future a particularly critical factor not only in Blackpool, but also Plymouth, Portsmouth, and Southampton along the south coast; all three of those cities are marginal between Labour and the Conservatives.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

On the Dutch general election of 2017

The Dutch general election of 2017 finally concluded earlier today when the last of the Netherlands' 388 municipalities (which genuinely cover areas as local as possible and are not drawn for administrative convenience, unlike many principal authorities in England) finished counting the votes.

This map shows which party topped the poll by municipality (blue=VVD, dark green=CDA, light green=GL, red=SP, turquoise=PVV, light blue=CU, orange=SGP).

Like so many people, I am pleased with GroenLinks' record result, although unfortunately they could only finish in sixth place in the end, just behind the Socialist Party (SP), rather than the third place finish many Dutch polls anticipated and in spite of the increased attention their lijsttrekker (list topper, or leader), Jesse 'Jessiah' Klaver was getting in the run-up to the election. They managed 8.9% and 14 seats (and thus got 3 1/2 times their 2012 seat total, not quadruple as some online commentators misleadingly claimed before the counting had actually finished), which is their best ever total but still behind key rivals who they hoped to beat, like the Democrats66 (traditional liberals), and the Socialist Party (traditional socialist). Why did this happen?

The high level of competition between those aiming for the collapsing PvdA (Dutch Labour Party, social-democratic) vote, especially in university cities and the capital, Amsterdam, was a key cause, even though student voter turnout in some prestigious and specialist Dutch universities reached approximately 100%, or at least 90%. GroenLinks topped the poll in only two municipalities, which included Amsterdam (GL polled 19.6%) and the Netherlands' oldest city, Nijmegen (GL polled even better than in Amsterdam with 20.1%). D66, however (which strongly competes with GL for the liberal, free-thinking and cosmopolitan vote) beat them to pole position in the cities of Groningen, Utrecht, and Leiden (all host to prestigious universities as well; GL's best performance was in Utrecht with 20.2%). They did however win over many would be Socialist Party voters who saw GroenLinks as more progressive and more in tune with the young generation, even in more working-class Groningen municipalities like Oldlambt and Menterwolde, and also in northern Limburg. The rise of PvdD (the Dutch animal rights party), which managed 5 seats, also its best ever total, took some more moderate environmentally-minded voters; PvdD leader Marianne Thieme is a professed Seventh-Day Adventist which is a boon to environmentally-minded Christians outside the major cities (Jesse Klaver did once lead the Christian Federation of Trade Unions, CNV, but is nowhere near as evangelical in religious terms)

The junior coalition partners in the last government, PvdA, were undoubtedly the biggest losers in this election, and were set to be almost from the moment they joined forces with the liberal-conservative VVD ('Orange Book' liberals similar to Germany's FDP) in the previous government, which to its partial credit managed a full term without a snap election when none of the cabinets of 2002-12 did (including the first of Mark Rutte's cabinets and all of former PM Jan Peter Balkende's cabinets). PvdA failed to come first, or even second, in a single municipality and as a punishment for their collusion with the centre-right VVD, they dropped from 38 seats to a derisory 9, and seventh place to boot behind GroenLinks. Their vote collapsed most spectacularly in their working-class strongholds in the north and in the 'Randstad' metropolitan region, the less prosperous province of Limburg where the radical right Party for Freedom (PVV) made its strongest surges, especially at the southern tip close to the industrial Ruhr region of Germany, and in rural, more Christian areas they had an even worse time. Their collapse is as reminiscent of the Labour Party in Ireland last year (who fell from 37 seats to 7 in 2016), and effectively finishes them as a major force in the Dutch political scene. The governing VVD lost only 8 seats, now giving them 33, but still finished first despite only polling 21.2%, the second-lowest ever in the Netherlands for a party that topped the poll nationally (they also set the record for lowest ever 1st place finish in 2010, where they managed 20.5%).

Contrary to popular belief, the Netherlands did not get be-Wildered as some feared. Geert Wilders, despite having pushed PVV to first place in some polls, in the end only managed to increase PVV's vote share by 3%, which gave them only 20 seats, just 5 more than in 2012. This is not even PVV's best result, since in 2010 they managed 24 seats. Not only did Geert Wilders bungle his campaign a la Paul,Nuttall in Stoke on Trent Central, but also the increased speculation about whether PVV could obstruct attempts to form a new government (since no other political party in the Netherlands will form a coalition with them or help Geert Wilders become PM) mobilised the progressive and moderate opposition across the Dutch political spectrum more than ever before-the CDA and VVD in the villages and towns, and D66 and GL in the cosmopolitan cities. PVV's vote was also split by a new party, Forum for Democracy, which with its advocacy of direct democracy, an EU membership referendum and national conservative stance is giving the Dutch an equivalent of the Swiss People's Party (still very popular in Switzerland). FvD managed only 1.8% and 2 seats but this exceeded even their expectations, given that they were only formed last year.

Despite high hopes, D66 only managed fourth place, just 0.3% behind the Christian Democratic Appeal, the traditional moderates of Dutch politics, and equal in seat totals (both managed 19 seats). However, the CDA's performance is merely a recovery of unsatisfied VVD voters rather than a resurgence, and like Fianna Fail in Ireland, is unlikely ever to have the same dominance or impact in Dutch politics for the foreseeable future. Many of their older voters have turned to the pensioners' interests party, 50PLUS, which doubled its seat total to 4 this year.

The Socialist Party is experiencing a similar long-term problem to that of the CDA. Due to the fact that 13 parties will now be represented in the Dutch House of Representatives instead of 11, they lost 1 seat despite their vote share only dropping by 0.4%. They have managed to gain many middling and older PvdA voters in Groningen province (but not the city of Groningen itself where their better-educated base was hit hard by GroenLinks), but are fading fast in Limburg, for even in Gennep, Boxmeer and Bergen, the three municipalities in that province where they topped the poll, their vote share decreased not insignificantly. They are also failing to capture many younger voters, partly due to their Eurosceptic stance and more traditional left-wing economic stances, and are not seen as progressive or internationalist as GL. Even where the contests were only between VVD/CDA/PVV, the Socialists made no overall progress from PvdA's collapse, which almost universally in those areas went to GL or PVV depending on the relative prosperity of the area.

As predicted, the Christian Union (Orthodox Protestants) and the Reformed Political Party (SGP, hardline Calvinists) stayed static in terms of vote share and seat totals (5 and 3) but remained strong in the Dutch 'Bible belt'; even though the CDA's conservative platform is not specifically orientated towards one branch of Christianity over another, it is much more attractive to Catholic voters in practice. The newest party to enter the Dutch House of Representatives is Turkish and Moroccan minority interests' party DENK (Dutch for 'think' and Turkish for 'equality'), which gained 2.0% and the vote and 3 seats. There is no 'electoral threshold' in the Netherlands; a party only needs to win enough votes for 1 full seat (0.67% of the vote) to qualify for representation. The controversy over attempts by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to influence the Netherlands, which resulted in all Dutch ambassadors to Turkey being expelled from that country in response, did not cause DENK the harm it could have done in spite of the international negative publicity it received, and (unverified) rumours that DENK is merely a 'front' for Erdogan.

Turnout was 80.4%, which is par for the course in Dutch politics; in spite of proportional representation and a wide spectrum of political parties the turnout/abstention rate remains largely the same election after election. This Dutch parliament is the most politically colourful ever, with 13 different parties being represented, and with at least 2 seats. In the only comparable example, that of 1982, 12 different parties achieved representation but 3 of them only achieved 1 seat apiece, and this was before the component parties of GroenLinks and the Christian Union had merged (the mergers happened in 1989 and 2000 respectively). This is also the first time a party dedicated to minority rights has been formally represented in the Netherlands, meaning the Dutch political spectrum is wider than ever, particularly with 1.5% of the votes cast going to parties that did not win any seats.

Cabinet formation will be interesting, to say the least. It has been rightly claimed that sticking to principles and values helped GL achieve their best ever result in this election. If this maxim is to remain true, however, then Jesse Klaver and GL should avoid joining any coalition headed by Mark Rutte (almost certain to remain Dutch Prime Minister) at all costs.