Freedom Party loses five seats in latest poll

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Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party PVV has taken a serious blow in the polls as a result of the controversy about two discredited PVV MPs.

In the latest poll, the Political Barometer conducted by pollster Synovate, the PVV has dropped from 30 to 25 seats compared to two weeks ago, but still has one more than in the 9 June elections. The Synovate poll was conducted after the parliamentary debate on PVV MP Eric Lucassen, but before Thursday’s announcement that his colleague James Sharpe had decided to resign.

Mr Lucassen was discredited when it emerged that, as an army instructor, he was convicted of indecent acts with two subordinates. Some of his former neighbours have accused him of intimidation and violence. James Sharpe was in charge of the Hungarian telecom company Digitania when it received a record fine in 2008 for misleading customers. And a former girlfriend has accused him of inflicting physical and mental abuse on her. On Wednesday, there were newspaper reports that Mr Sharpe had been suspended for six months from the Athletics Association for pushing a spike shoe in the face of a fellow athlete.

Coalition partner VVD has benefited from the PVV predicament and won three seats compared to two weeks ago, and is now at 37, six more than its current number of MPs in parliament.The Democrat party D66 gained three seats, and would win 13 seats if elections were held today, three more than their current number of seats in parliament.The Socialist Party is at 14 seats in the polls, one less than in the latest elections.

The PvdA Labour Party and the Christian Democratic CDA both lost out. The PvdA would win 22 seats, two less than in the latest poll and eight less than in the elections. The CDA would win 19 seats, one less than in the latest poll and two less than in its current number of seats in parliament. Green Left is at 11 seats in the poll, the Christian Union at six, the Christian Orthodox SGP at two and the Animal Rights Party at one seat.

The political barometer is a fortnightly poll in which 1,000 people from a fixed on-line research panel are asked how they would vote if elections were held at that moment. In addition, a number of people are canvassed by phone.



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