Mark Rutte fends off Geert Wilders to win Dutch elections

Mark Rutte fends off Geert Wilders to win Dutch elections

His party won 31 seats in the election, as opposed to Wilders' 19

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has managed to retain his position after winning the election in the Netherlands. 

His party, the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, won 31 seats in the Dutch parliament in an election which had the highest turnout for 30 years at 82%.  

It's seen as a triumph for pro-EU sentiment in Europe, as Rutte's main opponent was Geert Wilders, a far-right candidate who is opposed to the European Union.

His Party for Freedom was resoundly defeated by liberal parties in favour of the EU, after winning only 19 seats, however he warned Rutte hadn't seen the last of him on Twitter.

The Dutch Prime Minister praised the result in a speech made in The Hague, saying the Netherlands had rejected "the wrong kind of populism."

However, it could be months before Rutte's government takes shape, as 76 seats are required for a majority.