The People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (Dutch: Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie, VVD), often referred to in the English language press as the Liberals or by its initials from its official Dutch name, is a conservative-liberal political party in the Netherlands.
The VVD supports private enterprise in the Netherlands and is an economically liberal party. After the fourth Balkenende cabinet was formed, the VVD was the second-largest opposition party in the Dutch House of Representatives. During the Dutch general-election of 2010 the VVD obtained the highest number of votes cast and came to occupy 31 of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives. The VVD was the senior party in a centre-right minority government coalition together with the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) under the leadership of VVD party leader Mark Rutte. Rutte has been the leader of the VVD since 31 May 2006.
The First Rutte cabinet's parliamentary majority was provided by Geert Wilders' Party for Freedom (PVV), but this majority became unstable when Wilders' party refused to support austerity measures in connection with the Euro crisis. Therefore, elections for the House of Representatives were held on 12 September 2012. The VVD has become with 41 seats the biggest party. Since 5 November 2012, this conservative-liberal party is in coalition with the social-democratic PvdA in the second Rutte cabinet.
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