Constitution opposition boosts Socialists
21 June 2005AMSTERDAM — A new opinion poll has suggested the Socialist Party (SP) would win 22 seats if an general election was held in the Netherlands now.
21 June 2005
AMSTERDAM — A new opinion poll has suggested the Socialist Party (SP) would win 22 seats if an general election was held in the Netherlands now.
The internet-based Maurice de Hond poll suggests that the SP's leadership in the campaign against the EU Constitution in the referendum in the Netherlands on 1 June has rallied voters to the party.
This would see the SP leapfrog past the Liberals (VVD) in an election to claim the position of the third-biggest party in the 150-seat parliament. The SP currently has nine seats and the VVD has 28.
The VVD would be reduced to 21 seats if an election was held now, making it the fourth party behind the SP. The one bright spot for the VVD was that a similar poll last week put it on 20 seats.
The poll found the Liberal's partners in the coalition government have also lost support. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's Christian Democrats (CDA) would drop from 44 to 32 seats, while the Democrats (D66) would see their six seats cut to 3.
The government parties supported the EU Constitution, but have also suffered a backlash due to rising unemployment, cutbacks and the generally fragile state of the Dutch economy.
Public confidence in the government is at a very low level. Maurice de Hond found that only 34 percent of those questioned want the Cabinet to stay in power until the next scheduled election in May 2007. Some 63 percent expressed a preference for an earlier election.
Labour (PvdA) would add one seat to its 2003 election result of 42, the poll said. Underlining the volatile nature of Dutch politics, the main opposition party was tipped to win 47 seats in an opinion poll held on 29 November 2004. A week ago, a Maurice de Poll poll put it on 41 seats.
The latest Maurice de Hond poll also predicted a significant boost for the small Christian party ChristenUnie. Its tally of seats would rise from 3 to 8 seats, the study found.
Groep Wilders, currently a one-person party led by Conservative MP Geert Wilders, would take eight seats while the populist LPF party would see its numbers cut from eight to 1.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news, Dutch politics