All 150 seats in the House of Representatives
76 seats needed for a majority
|Turnout||78.71% ( 3.22 pp)|
The election had originally been scheduled to take place on 17 March. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government decided to open some polling stations two days in advance to ensure safe voting for elderly and immunocompromised citizens. Citizens aged 70 years or older were also given the opportunity to vote by post.
The election was held two days before the 2021 Curaçao general election.
The 2017 general election was held after a five-year coalition government between the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and Labour Party (PvdA). The PvdA suffered heavy losses in the election, being reduced from 38 to 9 seats, while the VVD lost 8 seats, falling from 41 to 33 but remaining the largest party. The Party for Freedom (PVV) came in second with 20 seats, 5 more than it won in the 2012 election, while the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) gained 6 seats to win 19 in total. Democrats 66 (D66) gained 7 to win 19, GroenLinks (GL) gained 10 to win 14, and the Socialist Party (SP) lost 1 to win 14. The election also saw two new parties, Denk and Forum for Democracy (FvD), enter the House of Representatives, winning 3 and 2 seats, respectively. Four other smaller parties maintained representation in the lower chamber: Christian Union (CU) and Party for the Animals (PvdD) with 5 seats each, 50PLUS with 4 seats, and the Reformed Political Party (SGP) with 3 seats.
The third Rutte cabinet was inaugurated after the longest coalition formation in Dutch history, with 225 days between the election and the cabinet being sworn in. The cabinet was led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who presided over a coalition consisting of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), Democrats 66 (D66) and Christian Union (CU). The coalition held a narrow majority in both legislative chambers at the time of the cabinet's inauguration, with 76 of 150 seats in the House of Representatives and 38 of 75 seats in the Senate. Following the 2019 Senate election, it had a minority of 32 seats in the upper chamber. After Wybren van Haga was expelled from the VVD faction in 2019, the coalition lost its majority in the House of Representatives. On 15 January 2021, two months before the election, the third Rutte cabinet resigned following a parliamentary inquiry into the Dutch childcare benefits scandal, and continued as a demissionary cabinet.
Pursuant to articles C.1, C.2 and C.3 of the electoral law, elections for the House of Representatives take place every four years in March. The 150 members of the House of Representatives are elected by open list proportional representation. The number of seats per list is determined using the D'Hondt method, effectively resulting in an electoral threshold of 1/150th (0.67%) of votes to secure a seat. Voters have the option to cast a preferential vote. The seats won by a list are first allocated to the candidates who, in preferential votes, have received at least 25 percent of the number of votes needed for one seat (effectively 0.17% of the total votes), regardless of their placement on the electoral list. If multiple candidates from a list pass this threshold, their ordering is determined based on the number of votes received. Any remaining seats are allocated to candidates according to their placement on the electoral list.
A record number of 89 parties registered with the Electoral Council in order to compete in the election. Most parties, however, did not achieve (nationwide) ballot access, as they were not able to pay the EUR11,250 deposit and/or did not receive enough endorsements (30 for each of the 19 electoral districts in the European Netherlands, and 10 for the Caribbean Netherlands).
The following 37 parties met the requirements to participate in the election:
|List||Party||Lijsttrekker||Main ideology||Position||2017 result||Districts|
|1||People's Party for Freedom and Democracy||VVD||Mark Rutte||Conservative liberalism||Centre-right||21.3% (33 seats)||20|
|2||Party for Freedom||PVV||Geert Wilders||Right-wing populism||Right-wing to far-right||13.1% (20 seats)||20|
|3||Christian Democratic Appeal||CDA||Wopke Hoekstra||Christian democracy||Centre-right||12.4% (19 seats)||20|
|4||Democrats 66||D66||Sigrid Kaag||Social liberalism||Centre||12.2% (19 seats)||20|
|5||GroenLinks||GL||Jesse Klaver||Green politics||Centre-left to left-wing||9.1% (14 seats)||20|
|6||Socialist Party||SP||Lilian Marijnissen||Democratic socialism||Left-wing||9.1% (14 seats)||20|
|7||Labour Party||PvdA||Lilianne Ploumen||Social democracy||Centre-left||5.7% (9 seats)||20|
|8||Christian Union||CU||Gert-Jan Segers||Christian democracy||Syncretic||3.4% (5 seats)||20|
|9||Party for the Animals||PvdD||Esther Ouwehand||Animal rights||Left-wing||3.2% (5 seats)||20|
|10||50PLUS||50+||Liane den Haan||Pensioners' interests||Centre||3.1% (4 seats)||20|
|11||Reformed Political Party||SGP||Kees van der Staaij||Christian right||Right-wing||2.1% (3 seats)||20|
|12||DENK||DENK||Farid Azarkan||Minority rights||Centre-left||2.1% (3 seats)||20|
|13||Forum for Democracy||FVD||Thierry Baudet||National conservatism||Right-wing to far-right||1.8% (2 seats)||20|
|14||BIJ1||BIJ1||Sylvana Simons||Egalitarianism||Far-left||0.3% (0 seats)||20|
|16||Code Orange||CO||Richard de Mos||Direct democracy||Syncretic||--||20|
|17||Volt Netherlands||VOLT||Laurens Dassen||European federalism||Centre||--||20|
|18||NIDA||NIDA||Nourdin El Ouali||Islamic democracy||Syncretic||--||20|
|19||Pirate Party||PPNL||Matthijs Pontier||Pirate politics||Syncretic||0.3% (0 seats)||20|
|20||Libertarian Party||LP||Robert Valentine||Libertarianism||Right-wing||0.01% (0 seats)||20|
|21||JONG||JONG||Jaron Tichelaar||Youth politics||Centre||--||19|
|22||Splinter||SPL||Femke Merel van Kooten||Social liberalism||Centre-left||--||19|
|23||Farmer-Citizen Movement||BBB||Caroline van der Plas||Agrarianism||Centre-right||--||19|
|24||NLBeter||NLB||Esther van Fenema||Public sector interests||Syncretic||--||19|
|25||Henk Krol List||LHK||Henk Krol||Progressive conservatism||Centre-right||--||19|
|26||OpRecht||OR||Michael Ruperti||National conservatism||Right-wing||--||19|
|27||Jesus Lives||JL||Florens van der Spek||Evangelism||Right-wing||0.03% (0 seats)||16|
|28||Proud of the Netherlands||ToN||Sander van den Raadt||Conservative liberalism||Right-wing||--||13|
|29||Ubuntu Connected Front||UCF||Regillio Vaarnold||Ubuntuism||Centre-left||--||13|
|30||Blank list||Anna Zeven||COVID-19 scepticism||Centre||--||12|
|31||Party of Unity||PvdE||Arnoud van Doorn||Islamism||Syncretic||--||8|
|32||The Party Party||DFP||Johan Vlemmix||Joke party||Syncretic||--||8|
|33||Free and Social Netherlands||VSN||Bas Filippini||COVID-19 scepticism||Centre||--||6|
|34||We Are the Netherlands||WZNL||Erwin Versteeg||Ethnic nationalism||Far-right||--||6|
|35||Modern Netherlands||MN||Niels Heeze||E-democracy||Syncretic||--||4|
|36||The Greens||DG||Otto ter Haar||Green politics||Centre||--||2|
|37||Party for the Republic||PvdR||Bruno Braakhuis||Republicanism||Centre||--||2|
|Dutch general election debates, 2021|
|Date||Organisers||Channel||Venue||P Present A Absent invitee NI Non-invitee|
|26 February||NOS||NPO Radio 1||Oude Zaal, Binnenhof, The Hague||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|28 February||RTL Nieuws||RTL 4||Felix Meritis, Amsterdam||NI||NI||NI||P||P||P||P||NI||NI||P||NI||NI||P|
|15 March||EenVandaag||NPO 1||Koninklijke Schouwburg, The Hague||NI||NI||NI||P||P||P||NI||NI||P||P||NI||NI||P|
|16 March||NOS||Statenpassage, Binnenhof, The Hague||NI||NI||NI||P||P||P||P||NI||P||P||P||NI||P|
The official results were published by the Electoral Council on 26 March 2021.
|People's Party for Freedom and Democracy||2,279,130||21.87||34||+1|
|Party for Freedom||1,124,482||10.79||17||-3|
|Christian Democratic Appeal||990,601||9.50||15||-4|
|Forum for Democracy||523,083||5.02||8||+6|
|Party for the Animals||399,750||3.84||6||+1|
|Reformed Political Party||215,249||2.07||3||0|
|Trots op Nederland||13,198||0.13||0||0|
|Henk Krol List||9,264||0.09||0||New|
|The Party Party||3,744||0.04||0||New|
|Ubuntu Connected Front||1,880||0.02||0||New|
|Free and Social Netherlands||942||0.01||0||New|
|Party of Unity||804||0.01||0||New|
|We Are the Netherlands||553||0.01||0||New|
|Party for the Republic||255||0.00||0||New|
Rutte claimed the result was a vote of confidence in the VVD and has ruled out a coalition with the PVV and FvD. He was expected to form a four-party government with D66, CDA, and smaller parties.
On 23 March, Rutte said that he preferred a coalition with a new right-wing party called JA21, which has eight seats in the Senate that can help form a government majority in both chambers; however, this proposal could potentially meet with resistance from D66 due to disagreements on issues such as climate change, EU integration, and migration policies. If a coalition were formed including CU, there would be differences on medico-ethical issues with D66. Rutte could also potentially speak to left-wing parties, such as the Socialist Party (SP), PvdA, GL, or Volt, if other attempts fail. SP leader Lilian Marijnissen said that it was very unlikely that she would join a VVD-led coalition but did not rule it out completely. PvdA leader Lilianne Ploumen said she would want to sit alone with one other party, while GL leader Jesse Klaver said he is open to a progressive coalition with VVD and D66, despite the party's poor election performance.
While Rutte was in the process of negotiations to form a new coalition, informateur Kajsa Ollongren (Democrats 66) was photographed by a journalist of the Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau as she was leaving Parliament, with a document from the coalition negotiations under her arm. The document contained the note "position elsewhere" next to the name of Pieter Omtzigt of the CDA, who has been a vocal critic of Rutte and played a key role in exposing the child welfare scandal that forced the resignation of Rutte's previous cabinet. This photograph caused speculation about whether Rutte was planning to sideline Omtzigt, but Rutte initially denied any involvement in the matter. However, after further notes emerged confirming he had discussed the possibility of Omtzigt as minister, he said he had "misremembered", and was accused by numerous opposition leaders of having lied to the media and the Dutch people. Parliament held a vote of no-confidence in Rutte as prime minister, which narrowly failed, but D66 and the CDA, which served in Rutte's previous cabinet, instead submitted a motion of censure against Rutte as parliamentary leader; this motion was passed by a large majority, with only Rutte's own VVD voting against. Informateurs Wouter Koolmees and Tamara van Ark resigned after the scandal, and were replaced by veteran informateur Herman Tjeenk Willink of the PvdA.