On 15 March 2017, a parliament-type election will occur in the Netherlands. Normally, it doesn't mean much outside of the country. In this year's case....it might send signals to a dozen-odd countries within the EU and be a sign of public discontent.
At present....the VVD Party holds 40 of the 150 seats of the Dutch parliament. They ended up in 2012 forming a coalition with the PvdA Party (35 seats) and run the current government.
The VVD folks? They would be classified as slightly left-of-center. The PvdA folks? They would be classified as a left-of-center group.
In the current polling (mid-January 2017)? VVD is ranking at 23-percent of the public sentiment, and PvdA at 10-percent. Together, they took 79-percent of the vote in 2012.....presently, with the Pell polling instrument, they will take 33-percent...a significant downward spiral.
The leader at present? PVV....the Geert Wilder's Party of Freedom. They are sitting at a comfortable 34-percent lead. At present, there's little doubt that they will end up winning.
Forming a coalition government? Well....Wilder's Party of Freedom has some problems. Both the present partners in the current government are saying they won't partner up.
To reach the fifty-percent point? It presents a challenge.
Sitting at the 4th place now is the Christian Democrats....at 16-percent. They are considered a centralist party or slightly leaning to the right. They haven't said no, but they haven't said yes.....to a partnership.
Sitting at the 5th place now is the Socialist Party of the Netherlands....at 11-percent. There are hints that they won't partner either.
In the mix is the D66 Party, which is a centralist party.....sitting at roughly 15-percent.
Getting one single party to agree with Wilder's platform will be tough enough, but if they have to reach down to two parties....to engage and talk a coalition....it will become nearly impossible.
What to expect by early April? I think Wilder's Freedom Party will win, and find some partner, and get a five-year mandate to run the country. Right-wing? Yes....although this partnership deal might weaken some of the far extreme points of Wilder's strategy.
The thing is....it puts the Netherlands into a new atmosphere, and likely challenges the EU. It also pumps up the French legislative election to some degree....coming up in mid-summer. More signs of a new European political slant? More than likely.