Sept. 14, 2012, midnight
The center-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) won 41 of 150 seats in Dutch parliamentary elections held last Wednesday. The VVD captured only two seats more than its rival, the center-left Labor party (PvdA), which came in second place with 39 seats. To constitute a majority, parties must win 76 out of 150 seats. Since no single party can secure an outright majority in parliament, many are therefore compelled to build coalitions. Together the VVD and PvdA possess enough seats for a two-party ruling coalition with a total of 80 seats. The right-wing Freedom Party (PVV) suffered substantial losses with its seats falling from 24 to 15, a decrease of 43 percent. Yet losses were predicted in the face of the party’s controversial anti-European and anti-immigration platform.