Dutch elections: unexpectedly familiar image

Populism trend Brexit-Trump does not come through; the liberal party VVD is still the largest party, despite a loss of 8 seats; government coalition demands a minimum of four parties.

The Dutch have spoken in unprecedented numbers (80% turnout) and the final result is gradually becoming clear. Now is the time for analysis on Twitter or with colleagues around the coffee machine. Consultancy firm GKSV, in collaboration with Public Cinema, created an infographic, which offers insights into likely scenario’s and how the process of coalition building will take shape in the coming months. You can find the infographic attached.

Three main observations, based on preliminary results.

  • Leader of the populist party PVV, Geert Wilders, has not lived up to expectations and previous polls. Although the PVV became the second party and gained 5 seats, the party leader and the followers were – as in the campaign – barely visible. Due to the high expectations, it is a Pyrrhic victory for the PVV. 
  • The former coalition ‘Rutte II’ is severely punished, but the Liberals still come out on top. While the current government of VVD (Conservative Liberals) and PvdA (Social Democrats) could rely on 79 seats in 2012, they now only have a joined 42. The VVD is still the largest party however – with 33 seats – and is celebrating. The penalty ended up with the PvdA, who lost a historic 29 seats. This means the smallest fraction in the history of the party will join the opposition to lick their wounds. 
  • The Christian Democrats (CDA) and Progressive Liberals (D66) have positioned themselves as solid middle parties with these result. They will be hard to ignore for Rutte, party leader of the VVD. For a majority in the House of Representatives however, a fourth party will  be necessary. That can either be the Green Party (Groenlinks) or Socialist Christians (Christenunie). For the VVD and CDA, the Christenunie is the more appealing party: smaller and ideologically closer. For D66, Groenlinks would be the better pick, because their positions overlap significantly. Big winner Jesse Klaver (Groenlinks, +10 seats), will be a logical choice for a seat at the table.

What will the possible coalitions look like and what does that mean for the most important issues facing the Netherlands right now. Check out our infographic.

Would you like to stay informed about what the possible coalitions would mean for your organization or would you like advice on how to align your strategy accordingly, please contact Maaike Hellingman-van Hooidonk, +31 6 48 78 66 30.

GKSV has extended experience with leading sessions to create scenario’s, impact analysis and an agile strategy.

Results 2017

VVD (Liberal party)                             33 (-8)

PVV (Populist party)                           20 (+5)

CDA (Christian democrats)                19 (+6)

D66 (Progressive Liberals)                 19 (+7)

SP (Socialist party)                             14 (-1)

GroenLinks (Green party)                  14 (+10)

PvdA (Labour party)                           9 (-29)

Christen Unie (Socialist Christian       5 (0)

PvdD (Animal party)                           5 (+3)

50plus (Senior party)                          4 (+2)

SGP (Conservative christian)             3 (0)

DENK (Party for minorities)                3 (+3)


Maaike Hellingman-van Hooidonk

Maaike is a Partner at GKSV, a member of the Interel Global Partnership

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