Dutch Labour Party surges ahead in poll
5 October 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Main opposition party Labour PvdA would win 55 seats in Parliament if an election was held now, beating the current three-party coalition government by six seats, a survey indicated Tuesday.
5 October 2004
AMSTERDAM — Main opposition party Labour PvdA would win 55 seats in Parliament if an election was held now, beating the current three-party coalition government by six seats, a survey indicated Tuesday.
The Maurice de Hond survey indicated the PvdA would pick up 13 seats compared with its performance in the January 2003 election, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
The result, while speculative, is noteworthy given the nature of Dutch politics and the fact that political parties traditionally need to form coalitions to give the government majority support in parliament.
The Christian Democrat CDA, Liberal VVD and Democrat D66 coalition government would win just 49 seats if an election was held now, not enough for a majority in the 150-seat Lower House of Parliament, Tweede Kamer.
The CDA would fall from its present tally of 44 seats to just 28 seats. The VVD would lose 10 of its 27 seats and the D66 would drop from 5 to four seats in parliament.
The survey was held after at least 200,000 people demonstrated in Amsterdam on Saturday against the government's budget cuts. The union-led campaign demanded the government reduce budget cuts on early retirement schemes, social security and healthcare.
The Wilders Group — led by former VVD MP Geert Wilders — could claim 13 seats in an election. But the embattled LPF would be decimated and lose seven of its present tally of eight seats.
The Socialist Party would win six seats to climb to a representation of 15 seats, while green-left GroenLinks would move ahead by one to nine seats.
The ChristenUnie would rise from three to five seats, while the SGP would remain stable with one seat. The Party for the Animals (PvdD) could also gain a seat.
Meanwhile, a survey has indicated 60 percent of Dutch nationals are in favour of holding a referendum over the future of the fiscally attractive early retirement schemes.
The cabinet has refused to back down on its plans to abolish the VUT and pre-pension early retirement schemes and trade union confederation FNV has called for a referendum to be held on the issue.
The opposition parties and unions need to collect 600,000 signatures for a referendum to be held. But they have to do so this year because parliament has voted to abandon the referendum law from January 2005.
And if the referendum was held now, the Maurice de Hond survey indicated that two thirds of voters would opt to maintain the present system. Half of the respondents believe the government should engage in talks with the nation's unions.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news