Marilyn de Roy
Marilyn de Roy
With more than twelve weeks to go until the parliamentary elections, a poll by I&O Research points to a landslide political victory. If people were now asked who they would vote for, newcomer Peter Umtsiget, according to the research office, could take his New Social Contract party to 31 seats, thus becoming the largest in one fell swoop.
The current (outgoing) government parties give up reconnaissance All in all, with the CDA polling at a historically low number of seats of 3 – the party now has 15 seats in Parliament. D66 will now drop to 7 out of 24 seats in the House of Representatives. The VVD party, the largest in the assembly in years, won 22 seats, up from 34 currently. The loss is the smallest for ChristenUnie: 5 to 4.
The BBB party, still the biggest winner in the last parliamentary elections, will get 13 seats, according to research by I&O Research, which is significantly lower than the 21 seats in the previous poll on July 20. The new partnership between GroenLinks and PvdA, led by Frans Timmermans, will bring the total to 28 seats. This is 11 more votes than there are now parties together in the House of Representatives.
If you ask people today, the new Umtsig party could become the largest in one fell swoop. But the elections are only three months away. The parties are still presenting their electoral programmes, and no debates have yet taken place between the party leaders. In short: voters can still change their minds.
It is clear that Umzig’s appeal for a new administrative culture and reliable government is now appealing to many voters. According to I&O research, this pertains to a “colour group” of voters whom Umtzigt considers “the embodiment of a political culture that listens to the population”.
Comparatively the bulk of this colorful group comes from Omtzigt’s old party, the CDA. 35% of people who voted for the CDA in the previous election now choose Omtzigt. But according to the poll, there are also many converts among JA21 voters (28 percent) and Freedom Party voters (24 percent).
Umzig’s platform can still influence voting behaviour. The research office asserts that the new social contract could attract more or less voters once the party’s position becomes clear on a number of polarizing issues such as climate, immigration and agriculture.
GroenLinks-PvdA also lost voters to Omtzigt in the poll. But the neo-left mix that includes Timmermans himself attracts D66, Volt and SP voters, and so he ends up with 28 seats in the I&O poll, or three fewer than Omtzigt. Timmermans has clearly stated that he seeks power and thus the good of Torrente.
VVD leader Dylan Yeselgosz is also eyeing Torrente, but now VVD also appears to be turning in a large number of voters. Perhaps one of the factors is that Iselgosz, who “wants to make the Netherlands stronger and more resilient” and “wants to become the biggest”, is not yet known to some people.
The fact that Umtsig does not want to be prime minister does not seem to bother voters at the moment, I&O research concludes. He says he does not want to get too big with the new social contract, but it is not clear how he wants to limit this growth. If he does not participate in all constituencies, or presents a limited number of candidates, this may disappoint the voters.
In July, when the Cabinet focused on immigration, many voters told I&O Research that they believed immigration and asylum were important. In the new survey, the topic received much lower scores, and the topic of trusted government received high scores. This shows that there can be significant fluctuations in what voters consider important.
And that opinion polls so far before the election cannot predict everything became clear in 2012, when Socialist Party leader Emil Romer scored high in opinion polls for a long time. The Torrente seemed almost on the horizon, but it never got so far. In the crucial debates, Roemer fell and PvdA’s Diederik Samsum rose. Samsom and party leader VVD Rutte end up in a duel after discussing the RTL prime minister.
One thing is certain: the political scene in the Netherlands will be greatly shaken with the arrival of Peter Umtzigt. This puts great pressure on the party, which does not really want to become the largest party.
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