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In The Netherlands Official Dutch results confirm win for Liberals

The final tally from Wednesday's vote gave Rutte's People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) a total of 33 seats in parliament.

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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte arrives at the Binnenhof buildings in The Hague on March 21, 2017 play

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte arrives at the Binnenhof buildings in The Hague on March 21, 2017

(ANP/AFP)

The Netherlands formally confirmed Tuesday the results of last week's general election won by ruling Prime Minister Mark Rutte's Liberals, as political horse-trading gathered pace to form a coalition government.

The final tally from Wednesday's vote gave Rutte's People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) a total of 33 seats in parliament, followed by 20 for anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders' Freedom Party (PVV) in a distant second place.

The progressive D66 and Christian Democrats (CDA) both garnered 19 seats, followed by the rising GroenLinks (GreenLeft) and Socialist Parties, both with 14.

Outgoing junior coalition partner, the Labour Party, crashed from 35 seats picked up in the 2012 election to a mere nine.

Electoral Council chairman Jan-Kees Wiebenga said a total of just over 10.5 million people cast their votes.

"Voter turnout was 81.9 percent, the highest since parliamentary polls in 1986," he told reporters.

Meanwhile, the arduous task of knocking together a coalition government continued Tuesday, with party heads meeting a so-called "scout", the person appointed to test the possible political combinations to form a 76-seat majority in the 150-seat lower house.

Dutch broadcaster NOS reported that veteran parliamentarian Edith Schippers met Rutte, D66 leader Alexander Pechtold, CDA leader Sybrand van Haersma Buma and Jesse Klaver, the rising star of the ecologist GroenLinks party eyeing a possible ruling bloc.

Together, the four parties would muster a ruling majority of 85 seats.

But Klaver, whose Greens are politically far removed from Rutte's pro-business Liberals, has said in the past he would not consider working with the incumbent prime minister.

"It will be a difficult mission because we have big differences in our viewpoints," Klaver told reporters after Tuesday's talks.

"It's important then what kind of base you start from to bridge these differences."

Schippers was due to report back to parliament Wednesday on her progress, but she was likely to ask for more time, the NOS said.

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