Mark Rutte clear winner in Dutch exit polling, set to lead fourth Cabinet; D66 in 2nd
Prime Minister Mark Rutte gave his victory speech, with reactions from Sigrid Kaag of D66, Wopke Hoekstra of CDA, Geert Wilders of PVV, and Gert-Jan Segers of Christen Unie. Most other party leaders also spoke, except for Thierry Baudet of the FvD. This article was updated as the polling data was revised at 9:45 p.m.
The first exit polling data released after ballot boxes closed in the 2021 Dutch parliamentary election showed that Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his right wing VVD party took the most votes for the fourth election in a row. The trend in increasing support for centrist party D66 and leader Sigrid Kaag also paid off, with that party taking second place.
The polling data showed that four parties won their first seats in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament. The poll was produced by research firm Ipsos on behalf of Dutch broadcaster NOS, and was released after polls closed at 9 p.m. on Wednesday. It was then revised 45 minutes later.
Of the 150 seats in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, the VVD was on pace to win three more spots to bring its total to 36 seats, and D66 was on track to jump from 19 seats up to 27. Current coalition partner CDA was set to drop five seats down to 14, while the ChristenUnie looked like it would lose one seat to four. That meant the current coalition could remain in place with 81 seats, and a thinner majority of 77 was possible by dropping CU from the club, though neither would carry the immediate support of a majority in the Senate.
Far-right leader Geert Wilders and his PVV looked to be down three seats to 17, but the other far-right parties showed stronger gains. FvD saw a jump of six seats to eight, and newcomer Ja21 which broke off from the FvD earlier this year, could enter the next Tweede Kamer session with three seats. Far-right Christian party SGP looked unchanged at three seats.
On the left, the Labour party was poised to be the largest party with nine seats, unchanged from 2017. The largest decreases of the night were by left wing parties GroenLinks and and the SP socialists with each apparently losing six seats with both parties securing eight slots in total. Denk also lost one of its three seats.
Center-left European party Volt also may have snagged three seats in its first Dutch election.
Diversity and inclusion focused left wing party Bij1 was likely to enter the Tweede Kamer for the first time with one seat, as was BoerBurgerBeweging, which also likely took one seat.
at 9:45 p.m.
at 9 p.m.
Some 1,579 people representing 37 parties in the Netherlands were allowed to participate in the parliamentary elections. While the number of parties was a record for elections held after World War II, it was still fewer than the 53 parties which took part in the 1922 election.
Of the 17.5 million people living in the Netherlands, including children and immigrants, about 13.2 million Dutch people were allowed to vote in the election. That includes the 93 thousand citizens who were registered to vote from abroad, and the 2.4 million resident citizens aged 70 and up allowed to vote by mail.
The last analysis of all major polls in the Netherlands, the Peilingwijzer released on Tuesday, had the VVD as the clear leader with 36 to 38 projected parliamentary seats. The PVV (18 to 20), CDA (16 to 18) and D66 (17 to 19) were all competing for second place. At the time, the D66 was climbing in the polls, the CDA falling. The left-wing parties were also all close together with GroenLinks at between 9 and 11 seats, SP at between 10 and 12, and PvdA at between 11 and 13.
The turnout after the first two days of voting was 12 percent. By 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, that had climbed to 42 percent, according to Ipsos. This includes some of the postal votes. At the same time in the previous parliamentary election in 2017, the turnout was at 33 percent. Though Ipsos stressed that the two elections can't really be compared, as this year had extra days of voting and large numbers of elderly people voting by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic.