Dutch election: Geert Wilders’ PVV party wins the most seats

Dutch election: Geert Wilders’ PVV party wins the most seats

In a surprising twist, Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) has won the most seats at the Dutch election, winning 37 out of 150 seats. The party, which wants to ban dual nationality and reduce the number of international students in the Netherlands among other restrictions on immigration, lies far ahead of other parties in terms of number of seats, but will need to work hard to form a coalition. 

PVV party wins 37 seats in Dutch Parliament

Now that almost every vote has been counted, the winner of the Dutch general election is clear - Geert Wilders’ PVV has obtained 37 seats, with his closest rivals, the Green-Left / Labour Party (GroenLinks / PvdA), trailing behind on 25 seats. Outgoing premier Mark Rutte’s People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) sits just behind on 24 seats, led by new leader Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius. 

Though the PVV won a significant number of seats in the election, the party is set to have a tough time making a coalition given that many parties have said they would not be willing to work with them. Wilders is often referred to by the media as a far-right politician, but prefers to describe himself as a right-wing liberal, and is known for his criticism of Islam and his stance against policies intended to tackle climate change. 

Difficult coalition negotiations lie ahead for the PVV

These stances make it especially difficult to go into coalition negotiations with many of the other political parties in order to form a new government. A possible coalition could include the PVV, VVD and New Social Contract (NSC), but the NSC’s Peter Omtzigt already quashed the idea of cooperation before the election, stating that Wilders’ stance on Islam is not in line with forming a governing coalition. 

However, by Wednesday evening, Omtzigt’s position did appear to soften somewhat according to Het Parool, who reported that he later said “The Netherlands will and must be governed, we are available.” The VVD’s Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius initially reached out to the PVV, but later said that her party would not join a cabinet in which Wilders' party is the largest.

There are several options on the table here - firstly there is the option of a majority coalition government - most likely between the PVV, VVD and NSC, or other parties. The other option is a minority government or coalition, which is less favourable due to the lack of stability, but is certainly possible in Dutch politics.

Option three is the exclusion of the PVV altogether, and instead a coalition between many of the less popular parties, such as a GL / PvdA, VVD, NSC and D66 coalition, though this seems unlikely given the strong preference that the electorate has shown for the PVV.

Amsterdam and Utrecht voted for GL / PvdA, Rotterdam and The Hague for VVD

Though the PVV’s success across the country is clear to see, many larger Dutch cities voted for the Green-Left / Labour Party (GroenLinks / PvdA). In Amsterdam, GL / PvdA won the highest share of the vote, followed by the PVV and then the VVD. In Utrecht, the story was the same, with the GL / PvdA taking the top spot.

Large cities where the PVV came out on top include Rotterdam, and The Hague. Amstelveen, a city with a high population of expats and immigrants just south of Amsterdam, also voted for the PVV. Overall, around 2,3 million people voted for the PVV; an increase from the 2,2 million votes the party received in the 2021 and 2017 elections. 

Image: Jeroen Meuwsen Fotografie /

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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