Only conservative VVD benefits from being in coalition

24th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

The VVD-CDA Christian democrats minority cabinet is about six months into its four-year period of government, but so far only the VVD has managed to translate its government participation into better results in the opinion polls.

According to the latest poll by pollster Maurice de Hond, the VVD would win 36 seats if elections were held today, that’s five seats more than the party currently has in parliament. Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party, which provides parliamentary support to the minority coalition, would win 21 seats, a loss of three. The CDA would drop from 21 to 14 seats.

With just 71 seats between the three of them now, the poll results mean the ruling coalition would lose its majority in parliament. At present the three parties have a very slim majority of just one-seat.

Of the opposition parties, only the Socialist Party, the democrat party D66 and the Animal Rights Party PvdD have been able to increase their number of seats in the past six months. The Socialist Party went from 15 to 19 seats, D66 from 10 to 15 and the PvdD from two to three. The senior citizens’ party 50Plus would enter parliament for the first time with two seats.

Main loser among the opposition parties would be Labour PvdA, which would go from 30 to 23.

Of those interviewed, 44 percent said they wanted the current cabinet to complete its period of government until the next parliamentary elections scheduled to be held in May 2015. Close to one in three hoped the cabinet would fall still this year.

The poll showed that a very slim majority of 51 percent believed the conservative VVD had the stronger voice in setting cabinet policy. One in five believes the Freedom Party is actually in charge. Only seven percent believed the Christian democrats were most successful at determining government policy.

Of the opposition leaders, D66 leader Alexander Pechtold en Socialist Party leader Emile Roemer were perceived as most ‘visible’. Both were seen as the real leader of the opposition by 23 percent of those interviewed. Labour Party leader Job Cohen, who actually leads the largest opposition party, is only seen as the stronger opposition leader by three percent of respondents, his Green Left colleague Jolande Sap by four percent.

VVD Prime Minister Mark Rutte

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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