The Netherlands: Green-Labour alliance good to go
Major upheavals are on the cards in the Dutch party landscape as a prominent figure enters the race for the office of prime minister. The GreenLeft and the Labour parties have agreed to combine their campaigns and have named EU Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermanns as their lead candidate for the general election in November, which was prompted by the collapse of Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s coalition. An exciting twist?
The start of a powerful left-wing alliance
De Volkskrant welcomes the joining of forces:
“The alliance between the Labour Party and the GreenLeft will counter fragmentation and contribute to the governability of the Netherlands. ... But it is, of course, also self-serving. Both parties have seen their number of seats drop drastically in previous elections. ... This combination clearly improves their chances. ... A lot now depends on the developments in other parties. But what is certain is that those who are sceptical about a left-wing alliance are now witnessing some decisive steps forward.”
A full-blooded politician enters the race
De Telegraaf presents a character study of Timmermans:
“The ‘left cloud’ has landed a full-blooded politician in Frans Timmermans: experienced, sharp, quick to take offence and not averse to power politics. But also a man with historical knowledge and lofty ideas which he is fond of expounding. ...Timmermans is strong in debates and learns his speeches by heart. His personality sometimes gets in the way, and he makes it clear that he feels misunderstood. These are pitfalls in a political climate that has become harsher in The Hague. With Timmermans standing for election, the campaign will quite rightly be a tough fight.”