Dutch election results and guide
This useful guide to the Dutch 2017 elections allows you to interpret the results correctly by going through a simple checklist.
To start with the question uppermost in everbody’s mind:
Q: Will Islam-bashing Geert Wilders become prime minister?
A: If all the following statements are true he might become prime minister; if even one of them is false he certainly won’t.
- PVV, VVD, and CDA have at least 76 seats combined.
- A three- or four-party coalition without the PVV is impossible. (See below for more on coalitions.)
- The PVV is larger than the VVD and the CDA.
If you’re unfamiliar with Dutch politics you should read the state of the race article I wrote 36 hours before the elections.
On Wednesday 15th of March the Dutch will elect their new 150-seat parliament. The polls open at 07:30 and close at 21:00 CET. Right at the closing of the polls an exit poll will be published that usually reflects the final result pretty decently. It will appear on this page. There will be an update around 21:30. These exit polls are based on interviews with 40,000 actual voters and are usually pretty accurate: there’ll be maybe 4 to 5 misassigned seats in usual years.
See also the latest polls.
There are no results yet.
One wrinkle is that this time votes will be counted completely by hand. All polling stations do so anyway, but it seems software was used to calculate the totals of the polling stations on municipal, electoral circle, and national level. This software has been banned this time, which may cause a slight hiccup and may postpone the near-final results by several hours.
Traditionally one more seat will change hands when the final result is announced, which will probably happen next week. So things could still shift around; just not by all that many seats — though sometimes one or two seats make all the difference in the world.
Go through this checklist and impress your friends with your knowledge of Dutch politics!
- In which position did Geert Wilders and his PVV finish?
If he’s in first position and at 30 seats or more we have to kind-of concede this election to the populists, though Wilders likely won’t become prime minister.
If he doesn’t match his 2010 score of 24 seats or if he’s in third position or lower he lost convincingly.
Any other result means he kind-of lost but the populists will make a lot of claims to the contrary.
- Do the FvD and/or VNL parties have any seats?
If so, Wilders has competition on the extreme right — and that has never happened before. If these parties have more than three seats combined, Wilders has serious competition. He’ll likely react by becoming more extreme — the defeat of his direct competitors is more important than a coalition. There’s room for only one Islam hater in Dutch politics.
- Is there a viable coalition with 76 seats?
See also the coalition table below. Viable coalitions
If you need three parties things are less complicated than expected. If you need four parties it’s complicated and new elections in 2018 are quite possible. If you need five parties new elections may well take place this year. If you need six or more parties a rift in reality has opened and the populist apocalypse is upon us.
- do not include the PVV
- do not include both SP and VVD
- do not include all three of PvdA, CDA, and VVD
- Do PVV, VVD, and CDA combined have 76 seats?
If the previous step yielded no viable three- or four-party coalition VVD and CDA are likely going to try to strike a deal with Wilders, despite them excluding Wilders during the campaign. Or, at least, they need to be seen to do so — they do not necessarily need to succeed. It’s unclear whether they want to succeed. Or whether Wilders wants them to.
- How many seats did the Left block win?
(Sort on Block in the table above to find out.) Less than 65 is historically bad, though no one will notice. 65 to 69 seats means business as usual; and 70 or more seats mean a victory for the Left. Floating left-wing voters have come home.
- Which party is the largest in the Left block?
D66 is the expected, and boring, answer. GL means the Jessiah has come. SP means that Roemer managed a major upset in the last debate. PvdA means that a miracle has occurred and this checklist is useless.
- Is the CDA larger than the VVD?
If so, prime minister Rutte has been voted down by moderate right-wing voters and he’ll lose his job.
- Is the effective number of parties above 6.7?
Find this number in the first graph on the page. If it’s above 6.7 we have the most divided parliament in Dutch history.
Here’s how I read the possible coalitions.
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