All top party leaders gathered for the first time since the vote at the centuries-old Dutch parliament Thursday as outgoing health minister Edith Schippers was appointed to start the process of trying to see which parties could work together.
Rutte said he now wants to listen to the people who felt disenfranchised in their own nation but was glad the dominos pushed over by the "wrong kind of populism" had been halted.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (right) and far-right politician Geert Wilders (left) meet in The Hague on Thursday.
Mr Rutte's victory could not be more welcome news for Europe as it celebrates its 60th anniversary in Rome next weekend.
Schroders European equities fund manager, Sam Twidale, said: "The market should take some confidence from the outcome of the Dutch election, as it's the first sign that mainland European economies may turn against the political parties with more anti-EU policies". However, anti-establishment parties like the GreenLefts, the Party for the Animals, the progressive D66, and the Socialists did very well.
Mr Rutte had already spoken of the election as a quarter-final against populism ahead of the French and German polls.
Another option that would achieve a majority in parliament and the senate would be a coalition with the Christian Union and another smaller Christian party, the SGP.
Multiple rounds of severe storms in US forecast
If temperatures can warm into the low 70's and we don't see as much rain during the day stronger storms will be possible. A few rounds of thunderstorms are pushing across Central and Eastern Kentucky to wrap up the weekend.
Rutte may have won, in comfortably outdistancing Wilders, but will need at least three of the other 12 elected parties to build a majority.
Thanks to the gains, the Green Left Party is expected to be a critical part of the Netherland's new coalition government. Wilders' anti-Islam Party for Freedom, or PVV, was tied for second, with 19 seats.
"The Netherlands said 'Whoa!'" he declared after his centre-right VVD party's lead positioned him for a third successive term as prime minister.
Weeks before the election, opinion polls forecast the PVV winning the biggest number of seats but Mr Wilders' lead vanished as the vote drew near. Furthermore, during the campaign, the Freedom Party leader made little effect to moderate his anti-globalisation, anti-EU and ferociously anti-immigrant message in which he openly insulted people of Moroccan origin and pledged to close down all mosques. The way he dealt with the crisis with Turkey, for example, definitely won him a lot of votes.
"The Islamic ideology is probably even more unsafe and harmful than national socialism", he said on Dutch television.
Mr Rutte had been more than anxious that he'd lose out to Geert Wilders, the far-right, anti-Islam, anti-immigration, anti-EU candidate. Mark Rutte, who has been prime minister since 2010, is the likeliest candidate to form the country's next government. That is eight fewer seats than in the previous election in 2012.
Dutch voters see the political confusion in Britain as Prime Minister Theresa May tries to ease it out of the European Union without damaging the economy. They must not, however, be complacent in the face of the populist challenge and must continue to be relentless in their defence of European values and the EU's success story.