It's Official: Dennis de Jong and Kartika Liotard elected to European Parliament

11 June 2009

It's Official: Dennis de Jong and Kartika Liotard elected to European Parliament

The election of Dennis de Jong and Kartika Liotard to the European Parliament as representatives of the SP has now been confirmed by the official state Electoral Council. The two were respectively first and second on the SP list.

Dennis de JongDennis de Jong was until recently an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has a long record of working within the SP on international issues such as social aspects of globalisation. Since 2007 he has been a member of the SP branch executive in Rotterdam.

Kartika Liotard Kartika Liotard was first elected to the European Parliament in 2004 and has thus already served five years in Brussels and Strasbourg, where she worked principally on environmental and public health matters, food safety and agricultural issues.

Turnout was even lower than last time around, with only 36.9% - not much over a third - of the electorate exercising their franchise. This contrasts with a turnout of over 80% in the most recent general election, in 2006. It might be said that the more than six in ten voters who stayed at home represented by far the biggest bloc.

The governing Christian Democrats (CDA) topped the poll with 20.1%, but this was fewer than in 2004, when they won 24.4%. Their coalition partners, Labour (PvdA) suffered a catastrophic decline from 23.6% in 2004 to 12%, while other losers included the right-wing liberals of the VVD (13.2%, to 11,4%). The Europhile Green Left and D66 both increased their vote, the latter almost tripling its 2004 total to reach 11.3%. Also amongst those making gains were the coalition of two small Christian parties (5.9% to 6.8%), and the Animals' Party (PvdD), who saw a slight increase to 3.5%, still insufficient to give them a seat. The SP also enjoyed a small rise in support, from just under to just over 7%. Big winners were the right-wing populists of Geert Wilders' Freedom Party (PVV), who did not exist in 2004 but won 17% of the vote.

The Dutch delegation will now therefore be made up as follows (2004 totals in brackets):

CDA 5 (7); PVV 4 (0); Labour 3 (7); VVD 3 (4); Green Left 3 (2); D66 3 (1); SP 2 (2); Christian Union/SGP 2 (2)

New members will take their seats at the Constituent Assembly in Strasbourg in mid-July.

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