Sybrand van Haersma Buma was on Friday elected the new leader of the Christian Democrats after taking more than 50% of the vote in a party membership ballot.
Mona Keijzer, a town councillor from Purmerend near Amsterdam, came in a strong second but failed to win enough votes to force a second ballot.
The four other candidates, including farm minister Henk Bleker and home affairs minister Liesbeth , the top two by a wide margin, news agency ANP said.
Van Haersma Buma, 46, is a lawyer by profession and has led the Christian Democrats in parliament since 2010. He was hot favourite to win the contest.
The CDA has been languishing in the opinion polls for some time, and is currently on target to win just 15 seats in the next general election. The party currently has 21 MPs and is a junior partner in the outgoing coalition government.
Van Haersma Buma’s appointment still has to be confirmed at the CDA congress at the end of June. The party has been without a formal leader since Jan Peter Balkenende resigned after the June 2010 election.