BoerBurgerBeweging has been doing well in the polls lately, but since the government’s nitrogen plans were introduced on June 10, things are going well. In the most recent poll by Maurice de Hond, the New Peasant Party won at least 18 seats.
And in Peilingwijzer, the weighted average of the other three major polling agencies, Caroline van der Plas’s party won 9 to 13 parliamentary seats. “It’s impressive for a party that now has one seat in the House of Representatives,” says political scientist Tom Lowers of Peilingwijzer.
Nervous about the polls
These poor polls combined with the county council elections early next year – and indirectly the Senate – are making the CDA and VVD government parties very nervous. “We all have problems with the ballot box. Yes, except for Mrs. Van der Plas,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Thursday evening during a debate in the lower house.
The current situation is particularly unpleasant for the CDA, traditionally the farmers’ party, which meets today to discuss nitrogen plans. CDA is smaller than ever in polls.
“It’s crackling a lot”
CDA Deputy Peter Drenthe says CDA in Gelderland, a county that should reduce emissions significantly according to the government’s nitrogen map, is ‘raised a lot’. “At the CDA members meeting there were about 80 to 90 people, much more than usual. There was a lively discussion.” The great frustration is the lack of perspective from the cabinet. “I hear a lot of people are dumbfounded.”
CDA MEP Annie Schreijer-Pierik also receives these types of signals. Recently, she regularly speaks to CDA members who are giving up. “They tell me: I don’t want to be a part of this anymore.” Since June 10, she herself regularly thinks about her party membership, because she “no longer recognizes her party.” “CDA has always been a party of faith, hope and love. It’s all gone.”
Invisible Corner Street
Her criticism also targets CDA party leader Wopke Hoekstra. According to MEP, this is completely invisible while discussing nitrogen. “We have never seen or heard of Wopke. He is the leader of our party, right. But he just threw him over the fence in the Cabinet. And this government is not CDA worthy. The border has been reached.”
She is very worried about the future of her party. “For now, I believe the CDA will not get 20 per cent of our current seats in the elections. I would not dare put a bottle of wine on more than that. I also said in our group in the European Parliament that if it continues like this, our party leader will not enter Parliament In the next European elections. All voters go to the BBB.”
Diederik Boumsma, the CDA leader in the Amsterdam city council, is also concerned about this massive drop in opinion polls. “The fact that the BBB is the second largest party in the Netherlands in opinion polls makes the situation even more volatile.”
Although the CDA in Amsterdam has a few members with an agricultural background, there are also concerns about nitrogen reduction, Boomsma notes. He believes his party has not handled this debate well. “You have to weigh all the interests and look for a compromise. It didn’t happen here. This is a bad form of judgment. I think this is a mortal sin.”
He also sees the absence of the party leader Hoekstra. “As Secretary of State, Woopke does other things. But governance also takes matters into your own hands. That’s what a statesman has to do.”
gurgle also in VVD
Not only is the CDA rising as a result of the nitrogen debate, it’s also difficult for alliance partner VVD to keep the frogs in the wheelbarrow.
The VVD member who rescinded his party membership and replaced it with BBB membership is former MP Gert Jan Oblatt. As president of the Dutch Poultry Processing Industry Association, he is a strong opponent of government policy on nitrogen. According to him, many members of the VVD are toying with the idea of turning to the BBB.
“tears in my eyes”
Like Henk Brink, MP in Drenthe. “I see with tears in my eyes that my VVD is navigating a path I never dared dream of,” he says.
Brink’s son, who was a member of the VVD city council, has rescinded his membership in the VVD. Brink’s boss hasn’t gotten there yet, although there are practical reasons behind it. “I am in the provincial executive on behalf of the VVD, so if I resign I will lose my job. Moreover, I can now exert influence in the province and on the course of the party.”
This influence is also the reason why Johann Moyes, Member of Parliament for the VVD in the province of Drenthe, remains, despite his disappointment. “However, everyone has a moment when they are ready.”
Former Member of Parliament for VVD Helma Lodders, who currently serves as Head of Livestock and Logistics, hears the same story from different members of the VVD. “I have spoken to members of the VVD who have doubts, as well as some who have already resigned from their party membership. This is concerning.”
Frits Wester: ‘A doomsday scenario for government parties towards elections’
Political commentator Fritz Wester: “Many, especially county managers, of government parties are clearly seeing the mood in the run-up to next year’s state elections. And if the trend in the polls continues, the BBB can throw it off the bus as the biggest party.” That compares to the rise of FvD four years ago.
“The BBB seems to attract all forms of dissatisfaction, and it’s also broader than nitrogen, like a magnet,” Wester said. “Thus, it is no coincidence that many regional officials are throwing their ass against the crib and sticking to their own plans to reduce nitrogen emissions.”
The commentator notes that the parties do not yet have a clear answer to this. This raises all sorts of questions about leadership within those parties, and certainly within the Canadian Democratic Commission. Especially with the state elections and the accompanying Senate elections approaching, a big doomsday scenario is emerging for these government parties and thus the coalition. ..”
Electors and members of the BBB
Market research firm Ipsos conducted research on where BBB voters come from. This indicates that at least 14 percent of CDA voters in previous elections are now planning to vote for the BBB. And 6 percent of people who voted for VVD in the last election will now vote for BBB.
And not only is the BBB doing well in the polls, Young Party membership is on the rise as well. “Since the nitrogen plans were announced, we have added 3,665 new members. And that’s double,” says BBB Official Secretary Henk Vermeer.
The CDA is not responding to various requests about the number of cancellations they have received in recent weeks. VVD announces that it will announce the number of members only once a year, and will not make an exception. “We have had some cancellations, but the party hasn’t caught on,” a VVD party office spokesperson said.
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