Netherlands to elect a new House of Representatives

Photo: Reuters/Piroschka van de Wouw

The Netherlands will today elect 150 members of the House of Representatives.

The election comes only two months after Prime Minister Mark Rutte tendered his resignation following a childcare scandal that wrongfully accused 10,000 migrant families of welfare fraud. Rutte and his cabinet—comprised of a four-party coalition—have led the nation under a caretaker status, citing responsibilities to the country amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the scandal, Rutte remains eligible to run for a fourth term as prime minister. His People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) heads into today’s election with a 9% margin over rival parties.

The VVD’s closest competition comes from the right-wing populist faction, the Party for Freedom, led by Geert Wilders. Wilders’ brand of Euroscepticism has failed to re-ignite Dutch nationalists during the pandemic, whilst Rutte and the VVD have seemingly benefited from the “rally around the flag” effect—an outpouring of support for incumbents during a national crisis. Expect Rutte to form a new coalition in order to secure a 76 seat majority in the House, most likely with the Labour Party, Christian Democratic groups or even across the aisle with the social liberal “Democrats 66” party.

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