After an election campaign focused on the economy, the Netherlands' relationship with the EU, the eurozone crisis and health care, Rutte's liberal party VVD is leading the polls with 35 seats in the 150-seat parliament.
"Rutte is as a person still perceived as competent," said Hans Vollaard, assistant professor at the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University.
"He has had some problems in the TV-debates. People have considered him less truthful, but in general they see him as a competent prime minister, and his party is doing fairly well in the polls meaning that he is getting more seats than in the last election in 2010," Vollaard said.
Only two weeks ago, analysts thought the election was going to be a battle between Rutte and Socialist (SP) leader Emile Roemer. However, things changed after the first big televised debate.
"Roemer has been really popular the last two years, but now when he had the chance of becoming prime minister, you could see on screen that he wasn’t really feeling good about himself," said Andy Langenkamp, global political analyst at ECR Research and expert on Dutch politics.
Langenkamp said the reason why the SP suddenly isn't so popular among the Dutch voters has less to do with their policies and more to do with Roemer's poor TV performances.
Centre-right coalition expected
Compared to Roemer, Labour (PvdA) leader Diederik Samsom has done well in the debates. The former executive of a green energy company only became leader of his party six months ago.
"He seems really honest and confident. He’s good on stage and prime minister-like," Langenkamp said, adding that Samsom seems "honest about Europe," as he has stated that Greece might need more time in order to make its reforms work.
Though PvdA and SP would like to work together in a coalition, the chances of a centre-left government in the Netherlands after Wednesday seem small. Therefore, Samsom has decided not to rule out joining a government with Rutte. Samsom's PvdA is currently set to win 27 seats in the Dutch parliament.
"It would be difficult for them [Rutte and Samsom] to agree on the economic policies, but both parties want reforms, though there are big differences between them. So it will be difficult. But they have to make an effort to make it work if the elections turn out as how the polls now predict," Langenkamp said.
Both political experts, Vollaard and Langenkamp, foresee a new Dutch government consisting of Rutte's VVD, Samsom's PvdA, Rutte's previous coalition ally the Christian Democratic party (CDA) and the social-liberal party D66.
EU relations top issue
For the first time in a Dutch general election, attention has been drawn to EU policies though the state of the economy and health care top the agenda. Vollaard expects 10% of the Dutch voters will base their vote on the EU issue.
Vollaard said that the Labour party was doing well in the polls despite their unpopular message among Dutch voters, that the Netherlands might have to give a eurozone country like Greece more time and another bailout.
"It might suggest that the Dutch public isn’t as eurosceptic as everybody says because it doesn’t matter for his rising position in the polls," Vollaard stated.
During the election campaign, Rutte has stated that "enough is enough" when it comes to Greece and a third bailout. However, what's said in an election campaign should not always be taken too seriously.
"Rutte has shown before that sometimes his rhetoric does not completely cover what he’s actually doing in practice," Vollaard said, adding that as of now the VVD, SP and the Freedom Party are against more money to Greece. This is also the official opinion of the German government.
The Netherlands is one of a few EU countries opposing Romania and Bulgaria's entry to the Schengen open border area. The Netherlands is also wary of accession talks with Serbia.
No matter what government will be formed after the election, the Netherlands' stand on these issues will remain unchanged, Vollaard predicts. The Dutch government has in the latest month "done everything" to raise further suspicion in the Netherlands about the rule of law in Romania and Bulgaria, he said.
It's also apparent that reluctance to further enlargement is present among all parties in the Netherlands.
"Many parties, even the pro-European CDA, perceive the accession of Romania and Bulgaria as a mistake. So I wouldn’t expect much of a change," Vollaard said.
Wilders without influence
Geert Wilders, leader of the far-right and anti-immigration party, the Freedom party (PVV), has played a less prominent role in the campaign.
Wilders, who has drawn attention to himself and his party through statements such as "I don't hate Muslims, I hate Islam", has brought anti-EU and anti-euro talk to the table as the immigration issue has been largely absent.
"Wilders’ popularity has gone down the drain. He’s far less popular than he was three years ago. That’s why he has changed his strategy, hitting on the EU and the eurozone. He won’t support any government this year. No one wants to work with him, basically," Langenkamp said.
After having been the party on which Rutte's government coalition could expect support since 2010, the Freedom party denounced the government over budget cuts in April this year. Langenkamp emphasises that some people still blame Wilders for the early elections.
"Rutte gets some of the blame, but the most blame goes to Wilders. He stepped out of the government negotiations, not Rutte," the political analyst said.
Last week, a poll showed that as many as 43% of the voters in the Netherlands were undecided, keeping the election result wide open.
"That makes the final phase of the election always so exciting because only a minor thing, a poor performance, a stupid remark or a scandal can get the voters to change their vote for a similar party," Vollaard said.
However, voters usually hesitate between two or at maximum three parties that share many political views. They are not floating from left to right on the political scale, but for example between two right-wing parties.
Langenkamp added that another reason why many have not decided where to put their cross could be that there is a lot of insecurity in general in society due to the financial crisis.
"This is our fifth election in 10 years so there has been a lot of instability. That does not help either of course," he said.
Among undecided voters, Langenkamp said Labour has an upside potential. Many liberals have decided to vote for Rutte, but the PvdA can still take a lot of voters from the SP and other left-wing parties.