The 2021 Dutch parliamentary elections have just been held. This was an election cycle like none before it, with a post-war record of 37 parties meeting the threshold amounting to 1579 candidates on the 1.6m ballot.
Besides this large list, there was the elephant in the room, namely Covid-19. Voting during a pandemic was a challenge we did not anticipate we had to face when the first measures were taken against Covid-19 in March 2020, but the elections came and went in a very strict and Covid-proof-as-possible manner. The elections were even prolonged to three days instead of the usual one day to vote to accommodate the elderly and people in other high-risk groups.
Now, looking back on an exceptional three-day voting period we can slowly see the results coming in. The ruling liberal-conservative party under current Prime Minister Mark Rutte managed to withstand criticism against the Covid-19 measures and maintains the broad popular support, even taking three additional seats in the process.
Despite the VVD maintaining their dominance in the Dutch political sphere, the large victors of these elections seem to be the social-liberal party called D66. They ended up taking 24 out of the 150 seats in the Dutch House of Representatives, according to the latest preliminary results. An increase of 5 seats compared to the previous parliamentary elections in 2017.
Curious to find out more about how politics actually work in the Netherlands? Take a look at this useful guide from Dutch News: