State polls: VVD in the lead, but GroenLinks/PvdA possibly even bigger

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In special political polls by Ipsos/EenVandaag and I&O Research in the run-up to the Provincial Council elections on 15 March, the VVD is the largest party nationwide. According to an average of both separate polls, the liberals get 15.5 percent of the vote. Well behind that is the PVV with 11.1 percent.

This does not necessarily mean that the VVD will also become the largest group in the Senate, which is elected ‘in stages’ by Members of Parliament. GroenLinks and the PvdA have announced that they will form a joint party in the senate. Together, these two parties would reach 16.5 percent according to this average. That is less than the more than 19 percent of four years ago.

Forum loser

The ‘State average’ was calculated by political scientist Tom Louwerse, the man behind the Peilingwijzer for the House of Representatives. He cannot apply that method here, partly because too few special polls are held for it for the Provincial Council or the Senate.

Striking in the average is that Forum for Democracy seems to be the biggest loser. Where Thierry Baudet’s party became the largest in 2019 with 14.5 percent, this time only 3.3 percent would remain.

BBB large in north and east

BBB is doing remarkably well. This newcomer would make his entrance into provincial politics and the Senate with 10.5 percent of the vote. I&O Research sees that BBB seems to score particularly well in the north and east of the country, although popularity is also growing in the west.

JA21 also comes in strongly with 5.1 percent. According to I&O Research, JA21 scores particularly well when there is a lot of discussion about asylum issues, while BBB benefits when nitrogen and agriculture are topical. On the left, the Party for the Animals grows to 6 percent.

Effects low turnout

According to Louwerse, these results still have to be treated with caution for various reasons. Firstly, Ipsos points out that a month before the elections, more than a quarter of the people who are allowed to vote indicate that they do not yet know which party to vote for.

In provincial elections, the question is also always what percentage of voters actually make the effort to come to the polls. As a result, the PVV almost always does worse than in parliamentary polls at the same time, just like the SP (now at 5.6 percent).

The CDA, which is halved in this average by 5.7 percent compared to 2019, is precisely a party that benefits from the lower turnout thanks to a loyal following. GroenLinks has always done slightly better in recent editions than in the Lower House polls of that time.

In any case, in the words of Louwerse, things must go “very strangely” if the current coalition (VVD, D66, CDA and ChristenUnie) is to gain a majority in the Senate. That majority is not there now and would only decrease further if the CDA lost heavily. The ChristenUnie is also down at 3.4 percent. D66 remains about the same, at 7.5 percent.

“If that majority of the coalition fails again,” says Louwerse, “then the question is whether that would succeed, for example, with the combination of GroenLinks and PvdA. That would give those parties a lot of extra power, because then negotiations would have to take place with them about majorities for all kinds of plans. But there is also the possibility that the coalition can choose an alternative route ‘over the right’ with BBB and JA21. Those are the two most likely scenarios, but it is also possible that even with those two parties there are still is not a majority. Then it becomes even more complicated.”

Smaller parties

Among the smaller parties, the provincial parties are the largest with 3.0 percent. Followed by the SGP with 2.5 and Volt with 2.0 percent. Although the latter party does not participate in all provinces, it is therefore not certain that Volt can capitalize on this percentage.

Denk and 50Plus come out at around 1 percent, which could be insufficient for a seat in the Senate. At BvNL, the party of Member of Parliament Van Haga, it seems certain with 0.5 percent of the votes that this will not work.

  • The I&O Research poll
  • The Ipsos/EenVandaag poll
  • Collection


  • Politics

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