Election night in the Netherlands was quite ‘hot’; at some point the NOS television program ‘election night’ announced that Twitter was overloaded and inaccessible due to the vast interest of the people in the probable results.
The Dutch parliamentary elections on 9 June in all probability resulted in a victory for the liberal VVD in terms of the most seats and a victory for Geert Wilder’s party PVV in terms of the most seats gained compared to the last elections. Former Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende immediately resigned as leader of the Christian-democratic party CDA as his party almost lost half of its seats.
Coalition and compromise have always been at the heart of Dutch politics and governance. This time around, the political parties really have to live up to these Dutch principles as the amount of seats per party are quite evenly spread. The labour party PvdA for instance, only has one seat less than the VVD, so getting a credible majority is a bit of a challenge. One option now speculated upon in the Dutch media is a combination of the VVD, CDA and PVV leading to a small majority of 76 seats out of 150 (the absolute minimum). Formally speaking, the results are still to be reviewed by the election control council (the ‘Kiesraad’) and final results will be announced in parliament on 15 June.
So for the moment, the winner is democracy. Now let’s see how civil this democracy is in forming a government. VVD leader Mark Rutte wants to have a new government by 1 July, which is 21 days from now. FYI, since 1946 the average coalition process in the Netherlands takes about 87 days…