Dutch Election: Mixed Feelings as Results Trickle In

Welp, Geert Wilders will not be the next Dutch prime minister. Mark Rutte, the current prime minister and candidate for the liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, holds a sizeable lead with 20% of the vote counted as of this writing:

VVD — People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy: 22%
PVV — Party for Freedom (Wilders’s party): 12.9%
CDA — Christian Democratic Appeal: 12.4%
D66 — Democrats 66: 11.7%
Green Party: 10.4%
Socialist Party: 9.4%

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. The PVV is on track to gain a few seats in the Dutch parliament. And although the VVD will win the election, they’re on track to lose several seats as well.

What sticks out is how poorly the PvdA—the Labour Party—is performing. They’re not even polling in the top six and will also lose the vast majority of their parliament seats. If the exit polls prove to be correct, the PvdA will become the seventh-largest party after being the second-largest. Yikes.

So what does this all mean?

1) The Dutch aren’t quite ready for nationalism. The PVV gained seats but may wind up in third place behind the VVD and CDA when every vote is counted. Wilders is by no means going away.

2) Despite not being quite ready for nationalism, the Dutch are clearly not pleased with the current state of the country. Voter turnout was massive and nearly every party besides the VVD and PvdA will gain seats. Rutte will need to organize a new coalition government, which could bode well for Wilders and the PVV.

*****

If you wish to follow live updates of the election, go here. We may not know the official results for several days, however. The Dutch are counting ballots by hand because they feared Russian hacking if they used technology.

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