New polls

I owe my readers an apology for not posting much last week. I was too busy doing other stuff, and besides Dutch politics are now in a relatively calm phase where relatively little is happening.

Anyway, both Peil.nl and the Politieke Barometer have published new polls, and I’ve added them to the polls page.

In both polls D66 loses seats to the right (2 and 3, respectively), so it seems moderate right-wing voters who until now favoured the Democrats are returning to their original choice. The CDA is definitely stabilising; it wins one or two seats. Same for the VVD, while Peil.nl gives the PVV one seat less, and the Politieke Barometer one seat more. On the left there are small changes; according to Peil.nl the PvdA loses one seat to GL, while the Politieke Barometer says the SP wins two seats from GL.

The take-away is that the CDA is done falling and will start to rise again, while D66 is in trouble.

Prime-minister race

The CDA’s rise could change the nature of the campaign. The christian-democrats desperately want to cast the elections as a prime-minister race between Balkenende and Cohen. If they succeed, they’ll draw right-block voters that currently opt for VVD, PVV, or maybe D66. The latest batch of polls shows that the last party, at least, is feeling the CDA’s pull.

In the next few weeks the CDA will draw roughly equal to the PvdA, and then the fight will start in earnest. Both parties profit: both will draw third-party voters from their own block, and it now seems likely both parties will end somewhere around 40 seats.

However, the largest party can take the initiative in coalition negotiations, and therefore the exact scores of both parties are extremely important. That’s what gives the prime-minister race its unique impetus: voters truly have a chance to determine who’s going to be the next government“s leader.

Coalitions

Coalition-wise the loss of D66 to the right means that the right-wing coalition is the largest; it’s currently at 73 seats in my dampened average; two seats more than in current parliament. The winners of the last few weeks, centre-left and purple, have lost a few seats. Still, if either coalition invites GL they’ll still have a majority.

Since it remains questionable whether a right-wing coalition, that must include Wilders, is feasible, I continue to feel that the next government will be either centre-left-green or purple-green. Obviously, the CDA is violently opposed to the latter option, which would exile them to the alien lands of opposition. So it must become the largest party.

That’s what at stake here, and the christian-democrats understand that full well. I don’t doubt that these latest polls were received with great gladness in CDA circles.

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

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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