Netherlands still fragmented with under six weeks to go

Ahead of the Dutch lower house elections on 15 March there has been a flurry of polls with all four of the country’s pollsters issuing research in the last week. On top of that, the new daily rolling LISS panel survey from the University of Tilburg / CentERdata is now up to its full size of over 3200 respondents after launching on 24 January.

The picture in the Netherlands continues to be one of unprecedented fragmentation, with no party projected to take more than 23 per cent of the 150 seats among any of the pollsters, and coalition formation shaping up to be very problematic. Among the four regular pollsters, there has been little movement between the parties: Geert Wilders’ right-wing populist PVV is projected to take between 26 (I & O Research) and 35 seats (Kantar TNS-NIPO) ahead of Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s centre-right VVD on between 22 (Kantar) and 25 (I & O).

Behind the leading pair the CDA, D66, GroenLinks and SP are closely grouped in the teens of seats. The once mighty PvdA (Labour Party) registers between 10 and 12 per cent just ahead of the 50Plus pensioner-focussed party which is scoring between 8 and 10.

The LISS panel survey, a new departure in Dutch polling, is for the moment the outlier in terms of results. It alone has the VVD narrowly ahead of the PVV – by 25 seats to 24 seats in today’s noon update (5 February). Both the PvdA and D66 are significantly preferred by the LISS panel compared to other pollsters’ respondents, scoring 15 per cent and 19 or 20 per cent respectively this week.

Note: Due to the highly proportional nature of the Dutch electoral system, pollsters generally express results in terms of seat projections rather than in percentages.


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