Dutch voters go to the polls

Dutch voters in the Netherlands go to the polls Wednesday to choose a new parliament.

The VVD Mark Rutte has won as predicted the parliamentary elections of 2010. The Liberals get 31 seats, one more than the Labour Party. PVV Geert Wilders leads to 24 seats.

They expect that about 75 to 80 percent of voters will vote. That would be less than before: in 2006, over eighty percent of voters showed up. That was the highest turnout since 1989.

The results after 97% have been counted:

VVD 31 (22) 20.06%
PvdA 30 (33) 20%
PVV 24 (9) 16%
CDA 21 (41) 14%
SP 15 (25) 10%
GroenLinks 10 (7) 6.6%
D66 10 (3) 6.6%
ChristenUnie 5 (6) 3.3%
SGP 2 (2) 1.3%
PvdD 2 (2) 1.3%
Rita Verdonk 0 (1)

Pollsters expected the VVD party to get 36 seats out of 150 in the Dutch lower house, up from 21 currently — putting leader Mark Rutte in line to become the first prime minister from a Dutch liberal party since World War I.

Rutte, 43, is a sworn bachelor who worked for 10 years in the corporate world.

Latest polls put the PvdA Labour party led by Amsterdam’s ex-mayor, 62-year-old Job Cohen, second in the race with 30 seats, down from 33.

Christian Democratic (CDA) of outgoing premier Jan Peter Balkenende, Support for the Christian Democrats was slashed from 41 to 21, leading to the immediate resignation of party leader and outgoing prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende.

The Party for Freedom (PVV) of MP Geert Wilders, 46, is polled fourth with 18 seats — double its current nine.

Voters can mark their ballots with red pencil until polling stations close at 1900 GMT.
Some 10,000 polling stations were due to open at 7:30 am and they close at 21.00. Because all will use the red pencil for voting instead of voting machines, the results may have to wait until midnight.

A first prediction of the outcome is expected when the polling stations are closed.

The Dutch elections is big news abroad and they are following the Dutch elections closely.

Photo by Pictorescue

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