Britain and the Czech Republic have already voted for fiscal conservatism in recent weeks. The Netherlands is likely to do the same today.
The leader of the VVD (the Party of Freedom and Democracy), Mark Rutte, is set to become the Dutch Prime Minister if opinion polls are accurate. Mr Rutte has run on a ticket of $24bn of spending cuts as part of a plan to totally eliminate Holland's 6.6% budget deficit. Dutch voters have seen the size of the state increase to more than 50% of GDP and taxes on businesses and wealth creators rise markedly.
The Freedom Party of Geert Wilders has seen its support slip during the last few months – largely because the VVD has undermined Wilders' unique selling point by also promising a very tough immigration policy. The Freedom Party is still set to increase its support, however, from 9 to 18 seats (according to opinion polls) and this may make Wilders the kingmaker in the Dutch parliament. In recent days he has been a rare voice in European politics, ready to back Israel. “The jihad against Israel isn’t against Israel only. It’s against the whole West,” he told the Jerusalem Post.
A victory for the VVD will be a massive change for the nation. The Dutch premiership has alternated between the more centrist Dutch Labour and Christian Democrat parties for most of the post-war period.