Mark Rutte and his Liberal Party have come out on top but only just at the end of an exciting Dutch election night.
With very little to show between the two leading parties, Rutte’s VVD appears to have clinched it by just one seat.
But he still has not enough to go it alone – 76 seats are needed to gain a governing majority in the 150-seat Dutch parliament.
Close on his heels was Job Cohen and the Labour Party, with a stronger than expected performance.
Cohen is seen as a more inclusive politician, a bridge-builder, but that doesn’t go as far as the far- right.‘‘I don’t think we are going to work together with Geert Wilders, this has always been my position. It hasn’t changed,’‘ said Cohen.
But Wilders more than doubled his far-right, anti- immigration Freedom party’s tally, knocking the incumbent Christian Democrats into fourth place.
Even if he is not top of the list to join a government coalition, his party’s astonishing showing could make him kingmaker.