Liberal International reports:
The Dutch city council elections on Wednesday saw important liberal victories for LI Full Members VVD and D66. The Dutch liberal parties were seen as the victors of the elections, with the VVD being the second biggest party gaining 14.9% of the electoral vote (13.8% in 2006) and D66 increasing its share to 8.1% (2.8% in 2006). D66 also saw a near five-fold increase of their number of council seats from 141 to 525, while VVD increased its number from 1166 to 1385. The populist Freedom Party of Geert Wilders only ran in two cities, and got big popular support. The Freedom Party became the biggest party in the city of Almere, and was voted the second biggest party in The Hague. Liberal International President and VVD leader in the European Parliament Hans van Baalen was satisfied with the good liberal results: “VVD is back, and will play a vital role in the councils and nationally after the upcoming general elections on June 9th. I commend D66 with their excellent result, which creates a strong liberal position in the Netherlands. I recognize that Wilders had success in Almere and The Hague. There should not be a cordon sanitaire. The best way to fight populists is to force them to take responsibility in office. We can defeat them if we are prepared to fight them instead of trying to ignore or stigmatize them”.
Frank Little comments: This contrasts with the alarmist headlines in the London media, such as "Extreme right on the march in tolerant Netherlands" from the Independent.