Campaign trail: women as ministers, turnout forecasts, cyclists' vote

Campaign trail: women as ministers, turnout forecasts, cyclists’ vote

The Netherlands will go to the polls to vote for a new government in just over two weeks time. Here's a round-up of Tuesday's election news.   Green bikes The Liberal democratic party D66 and the left-wing greens of GroenLinks are unsurprisingly the most cycling friendly of all the parties contesting the general election - according to cyclists union Fietsersbond. The ChristenUnie, PvdA and pro-animal PvdD also score above average when it comes to bike friendly policies. 'Bikes are mentioned in almost all the party manifestos, from left to right,' says director Saskia Kluit. 'Of course, the parties do have to keep on the case and translate this into policy.' High turnout expected The weekly Kantar Public poll is forecasting a high turnout in the March 15 vote - at least 68% of voters say they will definitely be at the ballot box and this is much higher than two weeks before the elections in 2010 and 2012. Then, the turnout was around 75%. The new Kantar poll puts the anti-Islam PVV and the ruling VVD both on 17% support, which would give them 28 and 27 seats in the 150 seat parliament respectively. Over half of PVV and VVD voters say they have definitely decided who to vote for. Prime minister Mark Rutte has the support of 26% of those polled, a rise from the 22% score a week ago. Alexander Pechtold is next on the prime ministerial popularity list with a score of 14%. Just 11% of those polled think Geert Wilders would be the best prime minister. Women in power GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver told an election meeting in Leiden on Monday night he would like to see the next cabinet comprising 50% women. This would not only do justice to women's talents, but 'send out a signal that we don't accept exclusion and disadvantage,' he said. The current government is made up of 19 ministers and junior ministers, of whom seven are women.  More >