2017 Dutch Election Results
The current Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has maintained his position, following his party’s success in this week’s election. The election results dampened expectations of a ‘Dutch earthquake’ with the possibility of Geert Wilders consolidating his perceived public support.
Rutte is a member of a centre-right party, the VVD (the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy) who favour low taxation, liberalism and the free market. The VVD have been the largest party since 2010, but given the nature of Dutch politics, have always governed in a coalition. Following Wednesday’s election, they have gained 32 seats.
The populist Geert Wilders stood on an anti-EU and anti-Islam platform, with his Party for Freedom. The election has been hailed as the moment the Netherlands said no to populism, however, Wilders remains adamant that he can still influence Dutch political debate. With his party now the second biggest in Dutch politics with 20 seats, this could be the case. It was expected that the recent diplomatic war of words between Rutte and the Turkish President Erdoğan, the election of Trump and Brexit may have tipped voters towards Wilders.
Wednesday night brought gains for the D66 party, who became the joint third party, after the Christian Democrats with 19 seats retrospectively. The Green Party (GroenLinks) also gained 14 seats, an increase of 10 since 2012’s election.
Given that Dutch politics works on the basis of compromise, parties in The Hague are now in a process of negotiation in order to form a governing coalition.