So we should fasten our life jackets, refuse to panic, and do everything we can to keep the ship afloat as we ride out the storm. Eventually, the seas will calm, and the winds will abate. Let's meet again on dry land.
Central European social democratic parties haven't been so lucky, however, and PvdA's dismal defeat shows the grim future facing the centre-left in multi-party systems. With PvdA set to spend the next parliamentary term away from the action on the backbenches and the French Socialist Party likely to suffer a similar fate in the upcoming presidential and legislative elections, social democracy has collapsed into a deep hole from which it may never be able to escape.
As the dust settles over the Dutch parliamentary elections, the international press corps are packing their bags with one last stiff drink to cover their disappointment as they head out to Schiphol Airport, hoping that France or Germany may deliver something more exciting.
The electorate chose stability, budgetary discipline and a broadly pro-Europe course over the populist anti-austerity and anti-Europe rhetoric presented by both the right-wing Party for Freedom (PVV) and the left-wing Socialist Party (SP).