[1/3] Dutch farmers holding banners and flags protest against government policies to limit nitrogen emissions in The Hague, Netherlands March 11, 2023. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw/File Photo
AMSTERDAM, March 15 (Reuters) - A farmers' protest party shook up the political landscape in the Netherlands on Wednesday, emerging as the big winner in provincial elections that determine the make-up of the Senate.
The BBB or BoerBurgerBeweging (Farmer-Citizen Movement) party rode a wave of protests against the government's environmental policies and looked set to have won more Senate seats than Prime Minister Mark Rutte's conservative VVD party.
A first exit poll projected BBB won 15 of a total of 75 seats in the Senate, which has the power to block legislation agreed in the Lower House of parliament, with the VVD dropping from 12 to 10 seats.
The meteoric rise of BBB is a major blow for Rutte's governing coalition, casting doubt over its aim to drastically cut nitrogen pollution on farms, the single issue upon which BBB was founded in 2019.