The result of the #Dutch elections was surprising to some, reassuring to others. But the most remarkable element of the election was the turnout.

The #number of people who voted was astounding to both critics and observers worldwide: about 82 percent, which was the highest in many years. This was in stark contrast to the 33 percent of voters who voted in a referendum last year that spurned a connection between Ukraine and the European Union.

The #Dutch elections were seen as a barometer of the political climate in Europe, a measure of populist sentiment in the country and the region.

The election was also carefully watched since it took place in the lead up to critical elections in both France and Germany, where far-right candidates have been taking advantage of anti-immigrant sentiments and building on an escalating anger and resentment against both democratic liberalism and the status quo.

More votes to the center party

According to the Dutch Broadcasting Foundation, which ran an unofficial rally, Mr Rutte’s #People’s Party For Freedom and Democracy won 33 of the 150 seats in the Dutch Parliament. The anti-immigration and populist right wing Geert Wilders’s Party for Freedom was placed second with 20 seats.

#Geert Wilders tried to be optimistic about his losing results, writing: “We were the third largest party of the Netherlands. Now, we are the 2nd largest party. Next time we will be nr. 1!”