Bos predicts neck-and-neck election race
12 July 2006, AMSTERDAM — Labour Party leader Wouter Bos has predicted the general election in the Netherlands on 22 November will be a "neck-and-neck race".
12 July 2006
AMSTERDAM — Labour Party leader Wouter Bos has predicted the general election in the Netherlands on 22 November will be a "neck-and-neck race".
Bos made his comments at a meeting on Wednesday when he was confirmed as the election leader for the main opposition party. The Labour (PvdA) executive said on Tuesday that no other candidates had come forward to oppose Bos for the leadership.
Describing his unanimous selection as a "bizarre moment", Bos said he had hoped for competition as the Liberal leadership election had generated a lot of publicity for that party.
"We now have to create that publicity in another way," Bos told the executive. Bos said he would "work flat out" over the coming months to achieve the same sort of impressive result as the PvdA achieved in the local election on 7 March.
He said the PvdA would position itself as a party that wants to build bridges in contrast to the political polarisation and infighting in the government coalition in recent years.
But Bos warned against complacency about the party's consistently high showing in the polls. The PvdA was tipped to win around 50 seats in the 150-seat parliament last March. A poll on 9 July suggested it would win 44 now. The party currently has 42 MPs and is the second largest party.
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's Christian Democrats (CDA) is the biggest party with 44 MPs. It has taken the heat in recent years for the coalition government's radical reforms. It has been as low as 28 seats in the polls and was on 33 in March.
Recent polls show support is rising for the CDA as the economy picks up. It was tipped to win 38 seats in the July opinion poll.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news