Know your coalitions — Centre-right

In order to properly prepare you for what’s going to happen after the elections it’s time to talk about coalitions. Dutch parties and voters have been thinking about them from the start, and they are everyone’s number 2 priority (number 1 being “How do I get as many votes as possible?” or “Which party shall I vote for?”)

Today we continue with Centre-right.

Centre-right is a relative newcomer in coalition-land. The first ever centre-right coalition was that of 2003, and it ended badly, especially for D66.

No doubt CDA and VVD will prefer centre-right over any other coalition. CDA and VVD habitually feel that they have to cooperate to save the land (in a right-wing manner), but due to their lack of majority they need a third party. In theory the PVV could be that party, but as we already saw it’s unlikely that VVD and especially CDA wants to form a coalition with Wilders, even if Wilders agrees.

However, centre-right just doesn’t have a majority. Right now it’s at about 63 seats in the polls, and even if we assume that the PVV is going to go down another ten seats, and that these seats will be picked up by CDA and VVD (both likely assumptions), centre-right will still not have a majority. Unless D66 also picks up lots of seats from the Pvda (unlikely).

Besides, even if centre-right did have a majority, D66 would still have to agree to it, and as far as I can see this is the worst coalition from the point of view of the Democrats. D66’s biggest competitor remains the PvdA, and if the social-democrats would remain safely in the opposition D66 would lose huge amnounts of seats to them come the next elections.

That’s exactly what happened in 2006. After D66 had participated in centre-right, it lost half of its 6 seats to the PvdA. The PvdA lost even more seats to its left, but that doesn’t change the basic dynamics of the situation. D66 is rightly wary of a repeat performance.

The only situation in which D66 would participate is if it wins a lot of voters from the right; voters that expect a centre-right coalition. However, if that happens, these voters would come from CDA and VVD, and centre-right would still not have a majority. Lose-lose.

Thus, the centre-right coalition is unlikely. No majority, not even in a positive scenario, and it’s just not to D66’s advantage to participate in it.

<— Know your coalitions — Right | Negotiations to watch — Den Haag —>

This is the political blog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer, in Amsterdam. It’s a hobby blog where he follows Dutch politics for the benefit of those twelve foreigners that are interested in such matters, as well as his Dutch readers.

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