GroenLinks won the Eindhoven municipal elections with resounding numbers. The party seems to have gained nine seats, depending on how the remaining seats are distributed. Eindhoven is heading for a progressive coalition.
That conclusion was quickly drawn with a large GroenLinks vote, as the PvdA and D66 appeared to have won five seats each. Volt (2 seats), Party for the Animals (2 seats), and to a lesser extent the SP (3 seats) are other obvious partners in a progressive coalition. On election night it became clear that the three major progressive parties would like to govern together.
“We can see that governance is rewarded,” says an overjoyed Rik Thijs about the election victory. “We have shown locally that we dare to take responsibility. And that we have taken very significant steps in the city and in working on the climate crisis.”
“I didn’t expect it, to be honest. I thought it would be nice to be able to match the historic win of four years ago and I would have also been happy.”
We can take the lead
In 2018 it soon became clear that the VVD had to take the lead together with GroenLinks. Now GroenLinks alone can take the lead in negotiations, Thijs sees. “Four years ago, that lead was shared. With this result, we can take the lead and set an agenda with what we want for Eindhoven. We have to wait and see. We see many parties achieving great results, including new parties that are doing well.”
Volt and the Party for the Animals are potentially interesting coalition partners, according to Thijs. “It shows that the parties are those that want to turn the climate crisis around. That is a big turning point compared to four years ago.”
Things are looking good for the PvdA. “Stabilisation is good news,” says PvdA party leader Mieke Verhees. “Four years ago we performed well against the odds. Now we seem to have fewer votes, but we still come to the current number of five seats.”
“We absolutely want to govern. If you want to make it happen for your voters, you have to join the coalition.” The PvdA seems to be able to do this better in a coalition with a GroenLinks majority, than with a VVD majority. “We are very happy for our GroenLinks friends. It’s a double celebration in that regard. We work very well together.”
Hope for a place in the coalition
For D66, the result of five seats, one less than in 2018, is disappointing, says party leader Jorien Migchielsen. “We expected something more. It has also looked different in recent weeks, but no matter how many seats we have, we will continue to go for it with vibrant energy for a sustainable city. I hope for a place in the coalition. We have good councillor candidates so I eagerly await the call from Rick Thijs,” says Migchielsen.
Translated by: Shanthi Ramani