Dutch left wing GL-PvdA projected to win EU Election; Big gains by far right PVV

THE HAGUE - The political party GroenLinks-PvdA appeared to win the most votes in the Netherlands during the European Parliament election. The party, a merger between the left wing Dutch Green faction and Labour, was projected to take eight seats in total. The far-right populist party PVV will likely see a significant rise from one seat to seven in total, according to the Ipsos I&O exit poll commissioned by national broadcaster NOS. That was at the expense of Forum voor Democratie, which will likely leave European Parliament. 

The Netherlands was the first country to open and close their polling places in the European Parliament election. The process continues through Sunday. All but three of the 27 European Union Member States will conduct their voting in a single day. The election will draw to a close when Italy closes their polling places at 11 p.m. local time, though in some circumstances people in Romania may still vote that late. 

Currently, there are 29 people representing the Netherlands in European Parliament. That will rise to 31 after the election. Twelve of those members of European Parliament will represent a left-wing or center-left party. The right-wing and center-right will also be represented by eleven people. The seven from the PVV will be joined by one other from SGP on the far right. 

Thursday's exit poll announcement brought out jubilation among the supporters of GroenLinks-PvdA gathered at their election party. Still, the party likely lost one of its nine seats earned in the 2019 election. It was not immediately clear where they lost a bit of support, but two centrist parties did see gains at the ballot box. 

Pro-Europe party Volt will debut with a first seat from the Dutch electorate, according to the polling. Meanwhile, D66 will likely see a rise from two seats to three. 

The far-right party of Geert Wilders, PVV, saw an enormous surge in support continuing on their popularity as the clear winners of the November election. The faction has stopped campaigning on pulling the Netherlands out of the European Union for the time being, but Wilders said they would prefer to try to reform and reduce European government from within Parliament. 

His party's gains looked to be at the expense of extreme-right Forum voor Democratie. The party, led by Thierry Baudet, appeared to lose all four of it European Parliament seats. Baudet's party has been pushing a pro-Russian stance, and a staff member working for one of their current parliamentarians is under investigation for promoting Russian propaganda in a case linked to the disinformation website, Voice of Europe. 

Another party that made gains is the BBB, one of the coalition partners looking to form a Cabinet with the PVV. The right-wing farming and agriculture party will bring their first two MEPs to Brussels. Party leader Caroline van der Plas was ecstatic with the victory, but at the same time the level of support was far lower than what the BBB earned as the biggest winner during the provincial election a year ago. 

Coalition partner NSC, led by Pieter Omtzigt, will also send their first politician to European Parliament. The party was launched last year after Omtzigt left the CDA. Although he scored a massive 20 seats in their first Dutch Parliament election just seven months ago, they performed far worse on Thursday by comparison. 

The fourth coalition partner, the VVD, saw yet another election loss. The party from Prime Minister Mark Rutte is now led by Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, the caretaker Justice Minister. Their support seemed to slide further, with the party likely to lose one of its five seats, according to the exit poll. 

Christian right party CDA also saw their ongoing loss of support continue. The party's popularity has been decimated after their participation in Rutte's third and fourth Cabinets, including the time period that covered Omtzigt's public split from the party. They will likely lose one of their four seats. 

Other parties that lost support include 50Plus and moderate Christian party ChristenUnie. They both were projected to lose their only seats in the European Parliament. 

Both left-wing PvdD and far-right SGP saw support remain the same, and will likely each seat one parliamentarian.