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The election, which saw the highest turnout of Dutch voters in 30 years amid earlier concerns that the far-right party of Geert Wilders would emerge with the most seats, is seen as a bellwether for the French elections later this year.
LI President Dr Juli Minoves tweeted that VVD and D66 had “stopped populism in its tracks” while LI President of Honour, Hans van Baalen MEP, who leads the VVD delegation in the European Parliament said: "The extreme right wing populists of Wilders took a serious hit from the lead party VVD; this will help defeat Le Pen in France and AFD in Germany. Congratulations to D66 for their very good results. Liberals will shape the Netherlands and Europe in the years to come!"
Leader of D66, Alexander Pechtold, labelled his party’s gains as “historic” as the social liberals gained 7 seats, while Mark Rutte described “an evening where the Netherlands, after Brexit and the American elections, has said ‘ho’ to the wrong sort of populism,” adding that “now it’s important to bring our country together and form a stable government.”
As coalition negotiations begin, congratulations on the Liberals’ success swept in from other European Liberal leaders and prime minsters:
Resbonsibility won in Netherlands election. Congratulations @markrutte VVD. Cooperation between our countries has always been strong in EU.— Juha Sipilä (@juhasipila) March 16, 2017
Lige ønsket min gode liberale ven @markrutte tillykke med valgresultatet i Holland. Dejligt, at seriøsitet belønnes!— Lars Løkke Rasmussen (@larsloekke) March 16, 2017
#Dutchvote Good to see Liberal parties surging ahead. Rutte's VVD great eg. of muscular Liberalism. D66 our conscience. Lib Dems take note.
— Kishwer Falkner (@KishwerFalkner) March 15, 2017
- LI president of honour, Hans van Baalen MEP, celebrates with prime mininster Mark Rutte and VVD colleagues