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In the elections of various Dutch provinces, held on the 15th of March 2021, a previously minor farmer protest party has triumphed. The BoerBurgerBeweging (BBB) started up less than a year ago and has already won multiple seats in parliament.
The BBB, founded in April 2020 by former farmer Maurice de Hond, is a government-critical party that mainly focuses on protecting the interests of farmers and people living in rural areas. They have even expressed support for a possible Secession from the Netherlands.
The BBB had initially only held ambitions in the province of Friesland, where it had accumulated the greatest popularity in rural areas. But the vast success at the provincial elections has made it clear that the anti-government sentiment is much more widespread. In total, the BBB has now gained 7 regional seats in the provinces of Limburg, Friesland and Zeeland.
The provisional results show that in Limburg and Zeeland, the number of seats has almost doubled compared to 2017. This means the ruling parties will have to take the BBB into account when forming the government.
The rise of the BBB could be seen as worrying for the ruling parties, particularly in light of the Parliamentary elections scheduled for 17th of March 2021. Any indications of a potential BBB victory in parliament could give form to a greater political movement focused on pro-farmer sentiment.
With the BBB’s popularity and broad support in the rural areas, it is clear that the findings at the provincial elections will have a great influence in Parliament.
This article was written by Sarah D’Souza