"The cabinet must keep going": Prime Minister Rutte

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A drop-off of four seats in the Eerste Kamer for the VVD is a challenge to party leader Prime Minister Mark Rutter. He is optimistic that the current VVD-Labour government coalition will continue, he said Wednesday night.

“Again tonight we are back in the battle to be the biggest party in the Netherlands,” Rutte said. “The fact is that we seem to have lost a pair of seats in the Senate. If you see where we stand tonight compared to years past, we are on our way back and perhaps [we will remain] the biggest party in the Netherlands,” the prime minister said.

Rutte was the last of the party leaders to speak publicly on Wednesday night.

“It is remarkable that the economy in the Netherlands is again running better, that people see that exports are attractive, and purchasing power is growing. The Netherlands sees it, and that is reflected again in this result,” he added.

“It is also nice to see that many Dutch people want this cabinet to continue. Ninety percent of VVD supporters say, ‘This cabinet must keep going,' and we are going to do that."

Roughly 49 percent of eligible voters stopped by a polling place to fill out a ballot in the 2015 Provincial Elections. The initiative will determine the make-up of the Eerste Kamer, the upper house of Dutch parliament.