A string of opinion polls by Maurice de Hond ahead of the March 21 local elections show that the left-wing green party GroenLinks is making strong gains in the big cities, largely at the expense of D66.
The poll shows that GroenLinks would win two seats in the port city, taking its total to six in the 45-seat city council. The VVD liberals are also in line to win six seats but D66, part of the city’s current ruling coalition, will lose one and slip into fourth place with five.
The PVV, which has decided to compete against fellow populist party Leefbaar Rotterdam, will eat away at Leefbaar’s support. De Hond’s poll gives the PVV five seats and 10% of the vote while Leefbaar will win seven seats and 14% support – half its current total.
A fourth Maurice de Hond poll in Nijmegen shows a similar picture – GroenLinks is set to remain the biggest party on the council with nine seats.
The polls were commissioned by GroenLinks which wanted to find out if the Jesse effect – the popularity of party leader Jesse Klaver – had transferred down to local politics.
Meanwhile, according to the Nederlands Dagblad, the FvD has seen its membership explode to nearly 23,000, fast catching up on the established parties.
D66 now has nearly 29,000 members, a rise of over 2,000 on a year ago. Groenlinks is just behind with 28,400 members, up over 5,000 on the year before.
The CDA, Labour party and Socialists have not yet calculated their new memberships, which are traditionally published around February 1.
The anti-immigration PVV is not a traditional party in structure and Geert Wilders is its only official member.