Two minor coalition items: Cohen “thinks about” Purple, while Wilders wants Right. The first one is mildly surprising, the second less so.
In an interview Cohen said that he “occasionally thinks” about Purple, and that he feels this coalition is as defensible as a Left coalition. He has “no preference” right now.
This is understandable. Despite his earlier remarks that he wants a coalition that’s “as progressive as possible,” Cohen has to keep the Purple option distinctly open. Right now the PvdA, if it wants to govern, must make a deal with the VVD. A broad left-wing coalition is impossible, and even a four-party PvdA+CDA+?+? is not in the cards: right now no four-party combination with social-democrats and christian-democrats wins a majority. That only leaves Purple.
Rutte, though, has a choice. Since the VVD is likely to become the largest party, Rutte can take the initiative and consider Purple, centre-right, and right. He is hinting that he might prefer one of the last two options, but that’s all. The voters have to speak first.
Wilders has no such compunctions. He unhesitatingly opts for a right-wing VVD+CDA+PVV coalitions. That’s predictable: no other combination is possible for him at all.
Still, this is one of the first times Wilders actually says something about coalitions. I’m not sure if he’s serious or just saying something about coalitions because everybody expects him to. Right now I still guess the latter; the PVV will grow much larger if it can stay in the opposition. On the other hand, its voters want to know they have a decent chance of influencing the composition of the next government, and that implies coalition negotiations.
All in all this is not huge news, but it clearly shows that everybody’s getting ready for a coalition with the VVD. The math doesn’t permit anything else.
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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.