The Netherlands’ prime minister Mark Rutte could form a new coalition government of the two biggest Dutch parties; his liberal VVD Party and Labour, after voters went back to the two big parties in droves in their general election.
“Obviously I’m very happy my party came out number one. It’s also a big responsibility now to live up to the expectations of our voters. We now have to focus on forming a stable governement as soon as possible,” said the VVD leader.
If Labour and the Liberals join up it will give the Dutch a stable government with an unassailable majority, with Diedrick Samsom likely to prove a more reliable, if more powerful partner for Rutte.
Even if Labour opposes many of Rutte’s policies, its pro-European stance is beyond dispute, and it will cause less trouble for Rutte on that score.
Despite the conclusiveness of the result, forming an administration could take weeks.
“In germany the situation is not much different to the Netherlands, and in the Netherlands we can see that the voters clearly voted in favour of European integration, although in a pragmatic way. ‘We will not be supporting Greece to any extreme extent, but there will be flexibility’ they’re saying,” said political analyst from the Clingendael Institute Adriaan Schout.
However Labour are much more pro-growth and anti-austerity than the Liberals, and may drive some hard bargains in the government-forming.