Wilders’ PVV now battling for second place?

There have been some small but potentially very significant developments in Netherlands’ polling in the last day or so. With only a week until voters hit the ballot boxes, the situation remains fragmented and stagnant, but the following may prove important pointers to the outcome:

  • The gap between the ruling conservative VVD and the populist PVV (Freedom Party) has reached its widest in today’s LISS Panel projection, at 26 to 21. This five-seat margin in the greatest LISS has shown in six weeks of daily releases.
  • For the first time Maurice de Hond’s polling has shown the VVD moving ahead of the PVV. De Hond’s surveys have consistently been the most favourable to Geert Wilders’ PVV, so this is a significant development. (Usually he publishes a weekly Sunday poll, but yesterday put out an extra survey).
  • Today’s weekly I & O Research poll shows the PVV tied for second place for the first time in the campaign. The social liberals of D66 have advanced strongly to 20 projected seats (up 3), while the PVV falls back 2 to 20 compared to the previous I & O survey.

After all the media hype, and so many past poll leads, could we be looking at a situation where the PVV finishes third? With so many parties standing so close together in the polls, and gaps between them often within the margin of error, this is a very hard election to call.

One interesting pointer may in the ‘certainty to vote’ question often posed by pollsters. I & O’s version of this, shown in the chart below, shows the PVV and VVD fairly close together, but still standing below the halfway mark among their declared supporters. Their pursuers – D66, GroenLinks and the CDA – all score significantly lower. Meanwhile just 14 per cent of 50Plus ‘supporters’ are sure to vote for them. Last minute choices will clearly play a large role next Wednesday.

 

Source: I & O Research, 8 March poll. Percentage of each party’s supporters agreeing with statement: ‘My choice is firm, I will certainly vote for this party’.

 

Full numbers from I & O Research can be found here.

Daily LISS Panel updates are published here.

Maurice de Hond’s website is here.

 

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