Left and right coalitions in the making

With one in four voters still undecided how to vote in Wednesday’s general election, the main parties have using the remaining days of campaigning to sound out potential alliances. Christian Democrat (CDA) prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende on Sunday suggested he favoured a renewed alliance with the free-market Liberals (VVD).

The two parties currently form a minority cabinet. But Balkenende criticised VVD leader Mark Rutte for ruling out a coalition that would include the orthodox Christian party ChristenUnie – needed to make up numbers.
Meanwhile, the three main left-wing parties were due to meet on Monday to discuss strategy. Labour (PvdA) leader Wouter Bos has repeatedly hinted his support for a left-leaning coalition in recent days – after senior party members criticised him for being too pro-CDA. On Sunday Bos urged what he called ‘socially-aware’ CDA supporters to switch to the PvdA.
The latest polls still indicated a large lead for the CDA but suggest the PvdA may have recovered slightly at the expense of the Socialist Party (SP). Today’s Interview/NSS poll puts the current CDA/VVD coalition on 65 seats, 11 short of an overall majority. The PvdA/SP/GroenLinks grouping would have 68 seats, also short of a majority. However, some 25% of voters are still said to be undecided about how to vote according to a poll by the Volkskrant.

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