THE HAGUE, March 19 (Xinhua)-- The Dutch coalition government of VVD (Liberals) and PvdA (Labor) lost about a third of its seats in the upper house, based on the results of the provincial elections on Wednesday.
The voter turnout was 47 percent, a drop from the 56 percent in the last provincial election four years ago.
The poll projected the two ruling parties will end up with as few as 21 of the 75 seats in the upper house, against 30 at present.
The results of the provincial elections are of national importance because members of the provincial councils elect upper house members on May 26 this year.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte remained optimistic and confirmed he would like to go on with this government until the next general elections, scheduled for March 2017.
"The cabinet will continue," Rutte said during a VVD party meeting, "but we will have to seek new partners."
To guarantee the minority in the upper house, the government needs to seek new partners. To pass law reforms a majority is needed in both houses of the parliament, in the lower house, or "de Tweede Kamer," and the upper house, or "de Eerste Kamer."
Rutte's Liberal-Labor coalition already relies on the backing of three small opposition parties, D66 (Democrats), Christian Union, and SGP (Christian), in the upper house to pass legislation and approve national budgets.
The five parties would now get 36 of the 75 available seats.
The Christian Democrats CDA was one of the winners, going up from 11 to 12. D66 doubled from five to 10 seats in the senate, and the PVV (Party of Freedom) dropped by one seat to nine. The Socialist Party (SP) increased by one to nine, and GroenLinks (Green Left) declined by one to four and Christian Union and SGP gained two seats to five.