Right-wing surge in Dutch election hobbles once-dominant Christian parties

(Logo: CDA)CDA logo

The right-wing surge in the recent Netherlands elections has crippled the once-dominant Christian parties, analysts say.

Geert Wilders, who follows a similar style and drumbeat to Donald Trump, campaigned on traditional identity and anti-Muslim rhetoric, and divided believers as Dutch society has secularized further, Christianity Today reported.

Anti-Islam Wilders hailed a "Patriotic Spring" following Donald Trump's election victory and the vote for Brexit when Britain voted to leave the European Union while calling for a revolution in Europe, the Independent reported.

The populist Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) Party leader had called the shock result of the U.S. election a "historic victory" and a "revolution".

"The people are taking their country back, so will we," he wrote on Twitter, using the hashtag #MakeTheNetherlandsGreatAgain.

The PVV won 37 seats in the 150-seat lower house of Parliament, more than doubling its 17-seat result in 2021.

The Associated Press commented the day after the election on Nov. 23, "If ever the hard right in Europe needed a set of jumper cables to rev up their electoral engine again in the wake of last month's major setback in Poland, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands provided it.

"Congratulations rolled in Thursday from all sides where the far right holds some sway on the continent after anti-Islam firebrand Wilders scored an election victory as unexpected as it was massive. His party more than doubled in size in parliament to tower over mainstream parties that long specialized in marginalizing him."


Winning a substantially larger share than the runner-up Labor–Green-Left coalition with 25 seats, the PVV, led by Wilders in singular authority, giving him a strong chance to form a government.

The PVV clearly benefited from the brutal October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, demonstrating that extremism breeds radical responses not only in Israel but also in Dutch elections.

Three denominationally based Christian Democratic parties dominated Dutch politics from the early 20th century, claiming 76 seats in 1965.


In the 1970s, they campaigned using the slogan of "ethical revival," advocating a return to Christian norms and values in politics.

And from their 1980 merger into the modern Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) Party until 1994, no government could form without their participation.

Christianity Today noted that support for parties on the left continued declining. In 1998 the Labor Party, Green-Left Party, and non-coalition Socialist Party together received 61 seats. The same parties declined to 30 seats in 2023.

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