All 150 seats in the House of Representatives
76 seats needed for a majority
|Turnout||75.4% ( 5.0 pp)|
General elections were held in the Netherlands on Wednesday 9 June 2010. This was triggered by the fall of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's fourth cabinet on 20 February with Queen Beatrix accepting the resignation of the Labour Party (PvdA) ministers on 23 February. The conservative-liberal People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), led by Mark Rutte, won the largest number of seats in the House of Representatives while the social-democratic PvdA, led by Job Cohen, came a narrow second. The election was also noted for the rise of the Party for Freedom (PVV), which came third, led by controversial politician Geert Wilders. On the other hand, Balkenende's Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) saw a poor result, losing half its seats and dropping from first to fourth place. The Socialist Party (SP) also lost seats. Notably, the 31 seats won by the VVD was its most since 1998, and the one-seat margin between the VVD and PvdA is the closest on record.
After the election, the formation of a new government took 127 days. Both the VVD and the PvdA hoped to have a leading role. VVD talks with the PvdA and other left-wing parties (trying to form a so-called Purple Coalition without Christian parties) broke down; however, Rutte was able to form a right-wing coalition of the VVD and CDA, with the PVV formally making an agreement (gedoogakkoord) to support the government but without holding any cabinet seats. It was the first coalition government not to be led by a Christian democratic or socialist party in 92 years, as well as the first to be led by the VVD. Rutte was sworn in as Prime Minister on 14 October, becoming the first liberal to hold that post since 1918.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2010)
The election follows the PvdA's withdrawal in February from the coalition over the contribution of Dutch soldiers to the War in Afghanistan. According to the Dutch constitution new elections had to be held within 83 days.
The first radio debate was held on 21 May 2010. The first television debate, held on 23 May was, according to instant polls, won by Mark Rutte on 36%, with Job Cohen second on 24%, and Geert Wilders and Jan Peter Balkenende third, on 18%.
|%||Seats (150)||8-6-2010||Exit polls (21.00 hrs)||7-6-2010||Exit polls||31-5-2010||Exit polls|
|* Trots op Nederland is the party formed by Rita Verdonk after she split from the VVD in 2007 and became an independent representative.|
Polls indicated that the elections were too close to call.
|People's Party for Freedom and Democracy||1,929,575||20.49||31||+9|
|Party for Freedom||1,454,493||15.45||24||+15|
|Christian Democratic Appeal||1,281,886||13.61||21||-20|
|Reformed Political Party||163,581||1.74||2||0|
|Party for the Animals||122,317||1.30||2||0|
|Trots op Nederland||52,937||0.56||0||New|
|Party for Human and Spirit||26,196||0.28||0||New|
|List 17 / Feijen List||7,456||0.08||0||New|
|Evangelical Party Netherlands||924||0.01||0||New|
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende stepped down from his position in the CDA and resigned his parliamentary seat on the evening of the election, saying he was taking "political responsibility" for the unsatisfactory election results of his party and that "The voter has spoken, the outcome is clear."
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2010)
Expectations were that the formation of a new government would take some time. The international media also read this as a slim victory for the "austerity-minded" Liberals amidst the 2010 European sovereign debt crisis.
Some international media speculated that "for the first time in this nation's history, a Jewish man, albeit a secular one, is on the verge of becoming the next prime minister ... Job Cohen, who was until recently the Mayor of Amsterdam, and represents the top of the ticket for the PvdA ... is at the end of a long battle to run the country that began in February when the PvdA backed out of the ruling coalition government because it did not want to send Dutch troops back to Afghanistan."