Dutch Liberals VVD and D66 (LI full members) delivered a huge blow to the march of populism across Europe as the VVD, the party of prime minister Mark Rutte, topped the polls this week for a 3rd consecutive election, while D66 finished joint-third with 19 seats.
The election, which saw the highest turnout of Dutch voters in 30 years amid earlier concerns that the far-right party of Geert Wilders would emerge with the most seats, is seen as a bellwether for the French elections later this year.
LI President Dr Juli Minoves tweeted that VVD and D66 had “stopped populism in its tracks” while LI President of Honour, Hans van Baalen MEP, who leads the VVD delegation in the European Parliament said: "The extreme right wing populists of Wilders took a serious hit from the lead party VVD; this will help defeat Le Pen in France and AFD in Germany. Congratulations to D66 for their very good results. Liberals will shape the Netherlands and Europe in the years to come!"
Leader of D66, Alexander Pechtold, labelled his party’s gains as “historic” as the social liberals gained 7 seats, while Mark Rutte described “an evening where the Netherlands, after Brexit and the American elections, has said ‘ho’ to the wrong sort of populism,” adding that “now it’s important to bring our country together and form a stable government.”
The final membership of the House of Representatives will not be known until Tuesday, after any individuals on party lists are promoted/demoted.
Tim Farron responded: