Election watch: battle for third place heats up

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The battle for third place in the March general election promises to be a tight-run thing between D66, the Christian Democrats and GroenLinks, according to the latest poll of polls.

With the anti-immigration PVV still narrowly in the lead ahead of the ruling right-wing Liberal VVD, the three parties are all showing similar levels of support, the new poll predicts.

The poll of polls is based on five different opinion polls. It gives the CDA between 15 and 17 seats in the 150 seat parliament, D66 between 14 and 18 and GroenLinks, led by the youthful Jesse Klaver, 14 to 16.




These differences, says poll compiler Tom Louwerse, are ‘not significant’. GroenLinks has grown in support since Klaver took over as leader – it has just four seats in parliament at present.

Socialists

By contrast, the gap between the three parties and the Socialists, currently on 13 to 15 seats, is significant because SP support is down on its 2012 election total, Louwerse said.

The narrow margin between the CDA, D66 and GroenLinks makes it likely that RTL may invited five rather than four parties to its televised debate between the party leaders likely to make prime minister.

Geert Wilders and Mark Rutte have both said they will pull out of the debate if RTL invites an extra party. The broadcaster will take a decision next week.

‘Wilders is currently doing well on social media without any campaigning,’ the NRC points out. ‘And Rutte is being attacked by all the other parties. What does he have to gain from a debate in which he is forced on the defensive for two hours?.