Dutch Election Update – No major moves in polls after turmoil

by: Theo de Kort

  • Our base case scenario still most likely to happen
  • Left wing parties join forces on climate law
  • Hacking fears drives back to counting by hand
Dutch-election-update-6-february-2017.pdf (64 KB)
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The Justice Minister resigned last week following an intense political clash. The first poll published after these events, TNS Nipo, showed a remarkable move in favour of PVV. Now, more than a week after this poll, all the polls forming our unweighted average have been updated. And, indeed, our table shows a slight decline in VVD seats, but the shock that appeared in the TNS Nipo poll cannot be identified in the other polls. So our base case scenario, published on 26 January, is still valid: a five parties government led by PM Rutte’s VVD is the most likely after the elections. In our analysis we have assumed a stable government needs at least 80 seats and that the PVV cannot be part of the new government as insufficient other parties are willing to work with them. Using these assumptions today still only two coalitions are possible. VVD, CDA, D66 and Groenlinks will be part of this coalition. The choice of a fifth party to form such a cabinet will be between Labour party PvdA and 50+, which represents the elderly.

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Left wing parties join forces on climate law

With only five weeks to E-day parties are forming coalitions around certain topics. The most eye-catching is the climate law. Dutch Labour party PvdA and the Greens (GroenLinks) took the initiative to a draft climate law in 2015. With the elections approaching more parties are supporting the initiative. This law will turn the current objectives into legally binding commitments. The ultimate goal of this law is 100% sustainable energy and 95% reduction of carbon emissions compared to 1990 in the Netherlands by 2050. At this moment the Socialist Party (SP), the Social Liberals of D66 and the CU (Christian, social conservative) support the climate law of PvdA and the Greens. After the elections the law will still have to pass Dutch parliament.

Hacking fears drives back to counting by hand

Last week Home Affairs Minister Ronald Plasterk decided all the election ballots will be counted by hand. This is a response to a computer security expert claiming on television that the systems used for digital voting and counting might be sensitive to hacking. In order not to take any risks, counting by hand will be reintroduced. “It should be ruled out that state actors try to benefit from influencing political decisions and public opinion in the Netherlands”, Plasterk argued.