Remkes investigates government with a minority, what are the options?

More than five months have been talked about it, but it didn‘t work out: forming a majority coalition. All possible combinations with more than 75 seats in the House of Representatives are currently blocked. And that’s why the focus shifts to a minority coalition, with the opposition having more seats than the coalition.

The third informer, Johan Remkes, started investigating the possibilities today. His predecessor Mariรซtte Hamer spoke to six parties out of โ€œthe wide middleโ€ in recent months and although they wanted a majority coalition, they have also indicated how they look at a minority government.

Combination to be determined

is widely shared that it must be โ€œa definable combination of VVD, D66 and CDAโ€. A coalition of all three parties has 72 seats and therefore needs to seek the support of one (medium) large party in order to get a majority (and thus to get a plan through it in the House of Representatives).

VVD leader Rutte would like to join the CDA, because of substantive agreements between the two parties and for the sake of stability. But D66 leader Kaag has previously said that she is not waiting for a minority alliance with VVD and CDA, because it will become too conservative.


If it has to be a minority coalition, Kaag feels more about VVD-D66. The two have 58 seats together, which means they have to find 18 each time. That comes down to at least two or three parties and that can be tricky.

One option that sometimes happens is VVD-CDA, because it would do justice to the election results in terms of ‘justice’. These two sides have 48 seats together, so they have to go farmer even more with their plans.

The formation process was hitting in the slop, Remkes said today:

Seeking support in the House of Representatives can be complicated and time-consuming, but it also has benefits. It is in fact consistent with the new open government culture, which has been talked about in The Hague as a result of the Allowance Affair.


The criticism of the last cabinets is that everything was recorded in detailed coalition agreements and was‘ tapped ‘weekly in consultations with coalition groups. As a result, the opposition in the House of Representatives was faced with complete facts and reduced the role of parliament.

With a minority cabinet, less can be timbered up in advance and therefore needs more negotiation with the Chamber, is the idea. Or in the words of ChristenUnion leader Segers, who is in favour of the minority variant: โ€œThen you have a cabinet that has to find a majority on content every time and that gives open proportions.โ€

Colijn 5

Those open relationships can also lead to problems, especially in terms of stability. Minority cabinets are relatively easy to disperse, as they are not ‘covered’ by a majority of the Chamber by default. A signatory example is the Colijn 5 Cabinet, which was sent home in 1939 when the government declaration was issued after two days.

The most recent minority cabinet is Rutte I, although it is more known as โ€œdocile cabinetโ€. VVD and CDA entered into a coalition agreement with each other in 2010 (together 52 seats), and they also signed a good deal with the PVV (24 seats, makes 76).


The order agreement was about asylum, safety, the elderly and a large cut-off package. On other subjects, PVV was free to vote differently from the coalition. This construction proved unsuccessful in terms of stability. After less than two years, the cabinet fell, when the three parties disagreed on further cuts.

Moreover, at this stage of formation there is no possible specific eye constructions. Although GroenLinks and PvdA have already said they don‘t want to be a good partner.

It is now up to Remkes to weigh all this and discuss it with the parties. If they don’t come out, there are other options that are mentioned. You still have the business cabinet, the extra parliamentary cabinet, and new elections can be launched.

There is another option that is not unthinkable: yet another look at a majority coalition. Several protagonists have already hinted that that is not out of the question.

Hamer, for example, writes in her report that โ€œcoalition negotiations cannot be launched at this time aimed at forming a majority coalitionโ€. Kaag said yesterday in the debate on Hamer‘s report that he hopes for a majority variant. โ€œIn front of us, all variants are on the table, minority and majority.โ€

The current informer Remkes said this afternoon that while the topic of minority cabinet is the first on his agenda, โ€œyou can’t rule out anything in this processโ€.