Dutch general election, 2010
The 2010 Dutch general election was held on Wednesday, 9 June 2010. It was triggered by the fall of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's fourth cabinet on 20 February with Queen Beatrix accepting the resignation of the Labour Party ministers on 23 February. The conservative-liberal People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), led by Mark Rutte, won the largest number of seats in the House of Representatives while the social-democratic Labour Party (PvdA), led by Job Cohen, came a narrow second. It was also noted for the rise of the controversial politician Geert Wilders and the Party for Freedom (PVV), which came in third. On the other hand, the election was a poor result for Balkenende and his Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), which lost half its seats and dropped from first to fourth place. The Socialist Party (SP) also lost seats. Notably, the 31 seats won by the VVD is the fewest in years, and the one-seat margin between the VVD and PvdA is the closest on record.
After the election, it took 127 days to form a new government, with both the VVD and PvdA hoping to have a leading role. Talks with the PvdA and other left-wing parties (trying to form a so-called Purple Coalition without Christian parties) broke down and Rutte was able to form a right-wing coalition of the VVD and CDA, with the PVV formally making an agreement (gedoogakkoord) to support the government but without holding any cabinet seats. It was the first coalition government not to be led by a Christian democratic or socialist party in 92 years, as well as the first to be led by the VVD. Rutte was sworn in as Prime Minister on 14 October, becoming the first liberal to hold that post since 1918.
|This section requires expansion. (June 2010)|
The election follows the PvdA's withdrawal in February from the coalition over the contribution of Dutch soldiers to the War in Afghanistan. According to the Dutch constitution new elections had to be held within 83 days.
The first radio debate was held on 21 May 2010. The first television debate, held on 23 May was, according to instant polls, won by Mark Rutte on 36%, with Job Cohen second on 24%, and Geert Wilders and Jan Peter Balkenende third, on 18%.
|%||Seats (150)||8-6-2010||Exit polls (21.00 hrs)||7-6-2010||Exit polls||31-5-2010||Exit polls|
|* Trots op Nederland is the party formed by Rita Verdonk after she split from the VVD in 2007 and became an independent representative.|
Polls indicated that the elections were too close to call.
- National summary
|List||Party||Political Ideology||Lijsttrekker||Votes||Seats||+/-||Vote %||Seat %|
|List||People's Party for Freedom and Democracy
(Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie, VVD)
|Conservative liberalism||Mark Rutte||1,929,575||31||+9||20.5||20.7|
(Partij van de Arbeid, PvdA)
|Social democracy||Job Cohen||1,848,805||30||-3||19.6||20.0|
|List||Party for Freedom
(Partij voor de Vrijheid, PVV)
|Conservative liberalism/National conservatism/Right-wing populism||Geert Wilders||1,454,493||24||+15||15.4||16.0|
|List||Christian Democratic Appeal
(Christen-Democratisch Appèl, CDA)
|Christian democracy||Jan Peter Balkenende||1,281,886||21||-20||13.6||14.0|
(Socialistische Partij, SP)
|Democratic socialism||Emile Roemer||924,696||15||-10||9.8||10.0|
(Democraten 66, D66)
|Social liberalism||Alexander Pechtold||654,167||10||+7||6.9||6.7|
|Green Politics/Progressivism/Activism||Femke Halsema||628,096||10||+3||6.7||6.7|
|Christian democracy/Social Christian||André Rouvoet||305,094||5||-1||3.2||3.3|
|List||Reformed Political Party
(Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij, SGP)
|Christian right/Social conservatism||Kees van der Staaij||163,581||2||+0||1.7||1.3|
|List||Party for the Animals
(Partij voor de Dieren, PvdD)
|Animal welfare/Animal rights||Marianne Thieme||122,317||2||+0||1.3||1.3|
|List||Proud of the Netherlands
(Trots Op Nederland, Trots)
|Liberal conservatism/National conservatism/Cultural conservatism||Rita Verdonk||52,937||0||+0||0.6||0.0|
|List||Party for Human and Spirit
(Partij voor Mens en Spirit, MenS)
|Spiritual politics||Lea Manders||26,196||0||+0||0.3||0.0|
|IP reform, Civil rights, Govt. transparency||Samir Allioui||10,471||0||+0||0.1||0.0|
(List 17 / Feijen List)
(Lijst 17 / Lijst Feijen)
|Youth rights||Lot Feijen||7,456||0||+0||0.1||0.0|
|List||Partij één||Yesim Candan||2,042||0||+0||<0.1||0.0|
|List||Heel NL||Daisha de Wijs||1,255||0||+0||<0.1||0.0|
(Evangelical Party Netherlands / Laclé List)
(Evangelische Partij Nederland / Lijst Laclé)[a]
|Invalid / Blank||26,976||–||–||0.3||–|
|Source: Verkiezingsuitslagen, Kerngegevens Tweede Kamerverkiezing 2010. Nederlandse Kiesraad. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2012.|
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende stepped down from his position in the CDA and resigned his parliamentary seat on the evening of the election, saying he was taking "political responsibility" for the unsatisfactory election results of his party and that "The voter has spoken, the outcome is clear."
|This section requires expansion. (December 2010)|
Expectations were that the formation of a new government would take some time. The international media also read this as a slim victory for the "austerity-minded" Liberals amidst the 2010 European sovereign debt crisis.
Some international media speculated that "for the first time in this nation's history, a Jewish man, albeit a secular one, is on the verge of becoming the next prime minister ... Job Cohen, who was until recently the Mayor of Amsterdam, and represents the top of the ticket for the PvdA ... is at the end of a long battle to run the country that began in February when the PvdA backed out of the ruling coalition government because it did not want to send Dutch troops back to Afghanistan."
- "Ontslag en benoeming bewindspersonen" (in Dutch). Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst. 2009-02-23. Retrieved 2009-02-23.
- "Election 2010 – The Netherlands shifts to the right". nrc.nl. 10 June 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
- "The Netherlands decides its fate - Focus". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
- "Politieke Barometer Week 23 – 08 juni 2010". Politiekebarometer.nl. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
- "VVD nog 4 zetels voor op PvdA, incl. prognose voor TK2010 (laatste peiling)". Peil.nl. No Ties bv. 2010-06-08. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
- "Slotpeiling: VVD behoudt voorsprong op PvdA". TNS NIPO. 2010-05-12. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
- "Radio Netherlands Worldwide (2010-06-09): Dutch election too close to call". Rnw.nl. 2010-06-04. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
- "Tweede Kamer Verkiezingen 2010". Telegraaf.
- Verkiezingen nog nooit zo spannend, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 9 June 2010
- "Evangelische Partij Nederland". parlement.com. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
- "Dutch PM quits CDA party leadership - Europe". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
- "Dutch Face Months of Coalition Talks; Wilders Third (Update2)". Bloomberg.com. 2005-05-30. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
- "Dutch election gives austerity-minded Liberals slim win". Dw-world.de. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
- NSD: European Election Database - Netherlands publishes regional level election data; allows for comparisons of election results, 1994–2010