Rutte wins, Wilders loses, pollsters draw

There wasn’t much of psephological interest in the UK yesterday, but thankfully the Dutch filled in with their general election. Mark Rutte’s VVD won more clearly than expected, with a close three-way battle for second place to be decided as the final votes are counted (Geert Wilders is just about favourite for the runner up spot at the moment).

The polls all underestimated the VVD, though some were close and there were no other big misses. And the Ipsos exit poll was just about spot on. Turnout is likely to be just over 80 per cent and is on the cusp of being the highest since 1986.

As predicted, a multiparty coalition will be needed, with the centre/centre-right bloc (the VVD plus the Democrats and Christian Democrats) 5 or 6 seats short of an overall majority.

There are four council by-elections tonight – two Conservative defences, one Labour and one free-for-all.

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