The Netherlands: Final Parliament Seat Distribution
March 21, 2017
On March 15, 2017, Dutch voters flocked to the polls in high numbers (82% turnout) to elect their new House members and thereby electing their future government. The outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s center-right party won the most votes, while populist Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration party came in second with lower-than-expected votes. Christian Democrats and Greens followed in vote percentage. Because of this, observers hailed the election as a rejection of populism in Europe – but this does not mean Wilders was defeated, as his party will be the largest opposition in Parliament. Rutte is now poised to form a coalition based on consultations he will have with the 13 parties that won seats in the election.
Final Seat Distribution
Prime Minister Rutte needs 76 seats to form an absolute governing majority.
All major parties pledged during the campaign not to form a coalition with
the populist, anti-Islam PVV. Rutte has expressed a preference for a
coalition with centrist D66 and Christian Democrat CDA, but that would only
amount to 71 seats, which means he will need a fourth party to reach a
majority. Many options are open for this fourth partner, including the
left-leaning Greens, Labour (PvdA, part of the previous coalition), or the
smaller Christian Union (5 seats). There is the fringe possibility of
forming a coalition without the center-right VVD, but it would require at
least six parties.