The Dutch Election’s One Clear Winner: Mark Rutte

The Dutch Election’s One Clear Winner: Mark Rutte
Dutch caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte speaks with the media on the day of the Netherlands’ general election, The Hague, Netherlands, March 17, 2021 (pool photo by Eva Plevier via AP Images).

Dutch voters went to the polls last week and the results were, well, a bit muddled. Anyone claiming to have detected a dramatic and unequivocal message from the Netherlands is guilty of, at the very least, exaggerating the significance of an outcome that really was a mixed bag.

Headlines like the one in The Washington Post—where, full disclosure, I’m a contributing columnist—declaring that the Dutch elections add to evidence of “the far right’s global retreat” betray wishful thinking. There’s a good chance that the far right is in an initial phase of a global retreat, but that was not in evidence in the Netherlands.

Voting in the midst of the pandemic, the Dutch strengthened the position of Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his center-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, or VVD. Rutte, who will lead the government for a fourth time, is on track to become the Netherlands’ longest-serving prime minister by the summer of 2022.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.