Thursday June 4 saw voting in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. I haven’t seen any results from the UK for either local council elections in England or the European Parliament (which I believe will be counted on Sunday), however, we have got results for the Netherlands.
Based on exit polls, the result seems to be:
- Christian Democratic Appeal (EPP) – 19.6%, 5 seats (-2)
- Party of Freedom (Far-right) – 15.3%, 4 seats (+4)
- Labour (PES) – 13.9%, 4 seats (-3)
- People”s Party for Freedom and Democracy (ELDR) – 11.0%, 3 seats (-1)
- Democrats (ELDR) – 10.2%, 3 seats (+2)
- GroenLinks (GRN) – 8.8%, 2 seats (-)
- Socialists (EUL) – 7.9%, 2 seats (-)
- Christian Union (I/DEM) – 7.4%, 2 seats (-)
Meanwhile in the UK, the British Labour government doesn’t seem to be waiting for the expected disastrous election results for the party to start imploding with up-and-coming Cabinet minister James Purnell resigning from the cabinet and calling on Gordon Brown to quit:
We therefore owe it to our country to give it a real choice. We need to show that we are prepared to fight to be a credible government and have the courage to offer an alternative future.
I am therefore calling on you to stand aside to give our party a fighting chance of winning. As such I am resigning from government.
The party was here long before us, and we want it to be here long after we have gone. We must do the right thing by it.
I am not seeking the leadership, nor acting with anyone else. My actions are my own considered view, nothing more.
If the consensus is that you should continue, then I will support the government loyally from the backbenches. But I do believe that this question now needs to be put.
12:19pm – Update from both Netherlands and the UK. Justin-Paul has pointed out that the Dutch results might not go as the exit polls predict:
Okay, stop press. I’m taking a closer look at the Dutch results; it looks like the Greens have a chance of winning a third seat at the expense of Labour. Some of these results are unprecedented: both the Democrats and Greens outpolled Labour in Amsterdam, which is one of its key strongholds. The Democrats registered a massive 14% swing to go to 21%; the Greens got a more modest one of 2% to poll 20%. Labour just under 15%.
The Party for Freedom has polled some particularly disturbing results, coming first in a few other key Labour strongholds like Rotterdam.
In the UK, the first council to report is Bristol, where the result is:
Lib Dems = 36 (+4)
Conservatives = 17 (+4)
Labour = 16 (-8)
Greens = 1 (-)
For purpose of comparison, Bristol council covers four Westminster electorates, three held by Labour and one by the Liberal Democrats.