Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) may have lost the elections, but Mark Rutte’s Liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) won Wednesday’s parliament elections in the Netherlands but lost a quarter of its seats.
Rutte may now have to settle with the biggest winners of the electoral night, the leftwing environmentalists, GroenLinks of 30-year old Jesse Klaver. Klaver quadrupled his number of MPs at Twede Kamer from four to 16, benefitting from PvdA’s phenomenal loss.
But, what saved the Dutch from populism, as Rutte said at his speech after the victorious result? It is the unexpected turnout of Dutch voters in this election. A 82% of eligible voters made it to the ballot, as Dutch society seems to have strong democratic reflexes after all.
Rutte’s next day
According to the election’s early results, a majority of three parties could be eligible – allowing Klaver to compromise less for his “government future”, at least for the time being. According to that early projection, VVD secures 33 seats and CDA 25. Along with D66’s 18 seats, a coalition government of fragile majority may be possible.
However, enthusiastic 30-year old “Dutch Justin Trudeau” Klavers, wants to secure a “centre-left” government, appearing unwilling to compromise on his ideas. At least, not at this very moment.