2010 Dutch General Election
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2010 Dutch General Election
2010 Dutch general election
← 2006 9 June 2010 (2010-06-09) 2012 →

All 150 seats in the House of Representatives
76 seats needed for a majority
Turnout75.4% (Decrease 5.0 pp)
VVD Mark Rutte 20.5% 31 +9
PvdA Job Cohen 19.6% 30 -3
PVV Geert Wilders 15.4% 24 +15
CDA Jan Peter Balkenende 13.6% 21 -20
SP Emile Roemer 9.8% 15 -10
D66 Alexander Pechtold 6.9% 10 +7
GL Femke Halsema 6.7% 10 +3
CU André Rouvoet 3.2% 5 -1
SGP Kees van der Staaij 1.7% 2 0
PvdD Marianne Thieme 1.3% 2 0
Tweede Kamerverkiezingen 2010.png
Strongest political party by municipality

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.[1] 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.[2]

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.

The 150 seats of the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal) were contested, and were filled using party-list proportional representation for a nominal four-year term.


The election follows the PvdA's withdrawal in February from the coalition over the contribution of Dutch soldiers to the War in Afghanistan.[3] 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%.[4]

Opinion polls

Party 2006 Politieke Barometer[5] Peil.nl[6] TNS-NIPO[7]
% Seats (150) 8-6-2010 Exit polls (21.00 hrs) 7-6-2010 Exit polls 31-5-2010 Exit polls
CDA 26.5 41 24 21 25 24 21 21
PvdA 21.2 33 30 31 30 30 31 29
SP 16.6 25 14 15 12 13 13 15
VVD 14.7 22 33 31 36 34 37 36
PVV 5.9 9 17 23 18 18 17 18
GL 4.6 7 11 11 10 11 8 10
CU 4.0 6 6 5 6 6 9 6
D66 2.0 3 10 10 10 11 10 11
PvdD 1.8 2 2 1 1 1 1 1
SGP 1.6 2 3 2 2 2 3 2
ToN/Trots* - - 0 0 0 0 0 1
Others 1.2 0 0 0 0 0 - -
* 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.[8]


Turnout was reported to be over 5% less than the previous elections[9] allegedly due to heavy rain and stormy weather.[10]

2010 Dutch General Election.svg
People's Party for Freedom and Democracy1,929,57520.4931+9
Labour Party1,848,80519.6330-3
Party for Freedom1,454,49315.4524+15
Christian Democratic Appeal1,281,88613.6121-20
Socialist Party924,6969.8215-10
Democrats 66654,1676.9510+7
Christian Union305,0943.245-1
Reformed Political Party163,5811.7420
Party for the Animals122,3171.3020
Trots op Nederland52,9370.560New
Party for Human and Spirit26,1960.280New
Pirate Party10,4710.110New
List 17 / Feijen List7,4560.080New
Partij één2,0420.020New
New Netherlands2,0100.020New
Heel NL1,2550.010New
Evangelical Party Netherlands9240.010New
Valid votes9,416,00199.71
Invalid/blank votes26,9760.29
Total votes9,442,977100.00
Registered voters/turnout12,524,15275.40
Source: Kiesraad
Popular Vote


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."[11]

Government formation

Expectations were that the formation of a new government would take some time.[12] The international media also read this as a slim victory for the "austerity-minded" Liberals amidst the 2010 European sovereign debt crisis.[13]

On 14 October, Mark Rutte was sworn in as prime minister.[14] Rutte's government resigned on 24 April 2012 over austerity measures.


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."[3]

See also


  1. ^ "Ontslag en benoeming bewindspersonen" (in Dutch). Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst. 2009-02-23. Retrieved .
  2. ^ "Election 2010 - The Netherlands shifts to the right". nrc.nl. 10 June 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-06-13. Retrieved 2010.
  3. ^ a b "The Netherlands decides its fate - Focus". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "Peiling: Rutte wint debat". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ "Politieke Barometer Week 23 - 08 juni 2010". Politiekebarometer.nl. Retrieved .
  6. ^ "VVD nog 4 zetels voor op PvdA, incl. prognose voor TK2010 (laatste peiling)". Peil.nl. No Ties bv. 2010-06-08. Archived from the original on 2010-06-17. Retrieved .
  7. ^ "Slotpeiling: VVD behoudt voorsprong op PvdA". TNS NIPO. 2010-05-12. Retrieved .[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Radio Netherlands Worldwide (2010-06-09): Dutch election too close to call". Rnw.nl. 2010-06-04. Archived from the original on 2010-06-12. Retrieved .
  9. ^ "Tweede Kamer Verkiezingen 2010". Telegraaf.
  10. ^ Verkiezingen nog nooit zo spannend, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 9 June 2010
  11. ^ "Dutch PM quits CDA party leadership - Europe". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved .
  12. ^ "Dutch Face Months of Coalition Talks; Wilders Third (Update2)". Bloomberg.com. 2005-05-30. Retrieved .
  13. ^ "Dutch election gives austerity-minded Liberals slim win". Dw-world.de. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-10-19. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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