A new populist, Eurosceptic party has achieved the remarkable feat of going from zero seats to becoming the largest single party in the Dutch Senate in a single election, as a young politician likened to a “Dutch Donald Trump” beat seasoned professionals in Wednesday’s poll.
Thierry Baudet’s Forum for Democracy party, which has gained attention for its Euroscepticism, campaigned against open borders politics and against what he calls “climate-change hysteria,” winning 86 seats across the Dutch regions.
The victory put his party ahead of even the ruling mainstream conservative People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), which achieved 80 seats.
Forum was founded in 2016, and this is the first regional election the party has contested.
Remarkably, in some Dutch regions Forum was so unexpectedly successful it won the right to appoint more elected members than they actually have registered candidates living in those areas.