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Benelux: extreme right advances in The Netherlands

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Benelux: extreme right advances in The Netherlands

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The extreme right party the PVV (The People’s Freedom Party), led by Geert Wilders, has polled 17% in The Netherlands coming second in the European Parliament elections.
 
It is the party’s first EU election, and means that they will occupy 4 seats in Brussels.
 
Turnout was 36.5% as opposed to 39.2% in 2004.
 
The conservative (CDA – Christian Democrat) Party
led by Dutch prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende hung onto the lead however, winning 19.9% (down 4.5%).  The result translates into 5 out of the 25 Dutch seats at the European Parliament.
 
The Dutch socialists, (the PvdA) have suffered heavy losses (of 11.5%) however, winning only 12% of the vote as opposed to 23.6% in 2004.
 
The rest of the vote was reasonably evenly split between the smaller parties; the Christian “ChristenUnie”, centralist pro-Europe party D66, liberal party VVD, the Greens, the extreme left socialist party SP.
 
The animals protection party (PDD) won 3.5% of the vote maintaining their two seats in the European Parliament.
 
Euro-sceptics Libertas et Newropeans made a poor showing with 0.3% and 0.4% of the vote respectively.  
 
Flemish speaking Christian Democrats win Belgium
 
The Flemish-speaking Belgian Christian Democrat party (CDV) has won the vote in Belgium ahead of both the Flemish liberals and the francophone socialists (PS). 
 
Voting is obligatory in Belgium, and unlike other countries in Europe, turnout here has been good. 
 
The CDV won 23.64% of the vote in Flanders, keeping 3 out of their 4 seats. 
 
The PS won 29.20% of the vote in French speaking Belgium which also gives them 3 seats in Europe. 
 
The liberal Flemish vote was 20.20% and the Flemish socialist party hung onto 13.26% of the vote and two seats. 
 
The extreme right wing party the Vlaams Beleng (formerly known as the Vlaams Blok) lost a seat, winning only two this time round. 
 
In francophone Belgium the Reformist Movement (MR) won 25.92% keeping 2 of their 3 seats.
 
The Greens won two seats instead of one winning 13.13% (an improvement on 2004 when they won 9.84%).