From 15-17 March, Dutch citizens went to the polls for parliamentary elections. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, voter turnout was nearly three per cent higher than the last election in 2017. This outcome resulted in a convincing win for ALDE Party members VVD (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie) and D66 (Democraten 66).
With nearly all votes counted, the results indicate a clear win for both ALDE Party members, VVD and D66, making them the two biggest parties in the Netherlands. Prime Minister Mark Rutte led his party VVD to its fourth consecutive win and improved their number of seats in parliament by one to 34 in total. Minister for International Trade Sigrid Kaag led D66 to a 24-seat win, gaining five seats.
On Thursday 18 March, the newly elected group leaders met with Speaker of the House Khadija Arib and appointed two ‘explorers’: former Deputy Prime Minister Annemarie Jorritsma (VVD) and current Deputy Prime Minister Kajsa Ollongren (D66). These explorers will see in the coming weeks how a new coalition government can be formed. They will hold talks with every party and report back to Speaker Arib on 30 March at the latest.
With a new Chamber put in place, the political landscape in the Netherlands looks fragmented. As of now, 17 parties will enter the Dutch Parliament at the beginning of the new term on 31 March, equalling the record for number of parties from 1918.
Rutte thanked everyone involved in the VVD campaign and is proud of his party’s result:
Kijk LIVE mee naar de reactie van Mark Rutte https://t.co/2qml1vYyMC— VVD (@VVD) March 17, 2021
“I am proud of my team and want to thank all our voters. In the last 10 years we gotten the opportunity to lead the country through all kind of crises and now we need to take upon this COVID-19 pandemic. I congratulate Sigrid Kaag and D66 with their enormous win and welcome all newcomers to Parliament.”
In her reaction, Kaag congratulated the winning party VVD and Mark Rutte on their result and said they are ready to take on their political responsibility:
“We did it! This extraordinary result is the proof that a vote for D66 counts. I want to congratulate VVD and Mark Rutte on their fantastic result. We cannot wait to take our responsibility based on content. Because we need to tackle the climate disaster, invest in education, housing and rule of law.”
Wat een prachtige avond. Jullie steun aan onze idealen en ideeën is overweldigend. Mijn dank is groot.— Sigrid Kaag (@SigridKaag) March 17, 2021
Ik feliciteer uiteraard ook de andere winnaars van vanavond. Nu aan de slag, de toekomst wacht niet.
Foto: Martijn Beekman pic.twitter.com/UfXQ3SdYT1
Both parties are currently part of the caretaker government and will now have to find other partners to reach a government accord.
ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen and fellow liberals congratulated both members with their liberal landslide on Twitter.
🇳🇱🗳Fantastisch om deze hoge opkomst te zien.— Hans van Baalen (@hansvanbaalen) March 17, 2021
A liberal landslide, ik feliciteer de 2 sterkste partijen @VVD en @D66 met hun geweldig resultaat.
Het is nu aan @markrutte om het initiatief te nemen een nieuwe regering te vormen. Veel succes!@aldeparty Liberals lead! #ikstem pic.twitter.com/xZux0qXiLb
🇳🇱Congratulations 👏 to both @RenewEurope members @D66 & @VVD for their electoral successes today.— Dacian Cioloş (@CiolosDacian) March 17, 2021
A big win for pro- European liberals in the Netherlands! 🏆#Verkiezingen2021
Nederland heeft een duidelijke keuze gemaakt voor positief en verbindend leiderschap.— Alexander De Croo (@alexanderdecroo) March 18, 2021
Hartelijke felicitaties @MinPres Mark Rutte en @SigridKaag.
Ik kijk ernaar uit onze goede samenwerking verder te zetten.
Congratulations to my colleagues from @VVD and @D66!!— Adrián Vázquez Lázara 🇪🇦🇪🇺 (@AdrianVL1982) March 17, 2021
🇱🇺🇪🇺 Amazing results of the pro-European and liberal forces in the Netherlands.#Verkiezingen2021 pic.twitter.com/A5f9Da8Tkm
Gratulation @D66 🥳🥳🥳 https://t.co/TNNfVGTXAV— dieGamon (@dieGamon) March 17, 2021
Following these results, ALDE Party organised a Liberal Breakfast on Thursday 18 March in cooperation with Friedrich Naumann Foundation Europe, with ALDE President van Baalen and Coen Brummer, Director of D66 think tank Hans van Mierlo Stichting speaking on the latest election developments.
You can re-watch the webinar below or on YouTube.
Photo credit: Kyle Klein and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the USA - Visit Prime Minister Mark Rutte to Boston, Massachusetts 2019, Sigrid Kaag - D66