Parties go into coalition building mode
Final results in the Dutch general election suggest that the two centre parties are going to have to find a way to form a coalition government together.
The centre right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) led by caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte ended up with 41 seats and increase of ten seats on the 2010 general election result. This makes them the largest party in the 150 seat House of Representatives but well short of the majority they need to form a government.
The centre left Labour Party (PvdA) led by Diederik Samsom was also a winner in this year’s election. They took 39 seats, an increase of nine seats.
Other parties hold a smaller number of seats, but it is difficult to see how either of the major parties can gather enough support from the other parties to form a coalition. The far right party People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (PVV) won 15 seats and the far left Socialist Party (SP) also won 15 seats. It remains to be seen if either major party can cobble together enough seats for a majority out of the remaining six parties in the parliament.
As the largest party, it is down to the VVD to try and form a coalition. Former VVD Minister of Social Affairs Henk Kamp has been tasked with the job of investigating what coalitions might be possible and is expected to report back on 20th September. It is unlikely that any party is going to rush into a coalition without some hard bargaining first.