Pressure rises as PvdA support slides

Support for the Labour party (PvdA) has fallen sharply and the gap between it and the anti-immigration PVV has narrowed to just four seats, according to the latest Maurice de Hond opinion poll.

The poll shows that the PvdA would take just 23 seats if there was an election tomorrow. In last November’s vote the party had 33 seats.
At the same time, support for the PVV continues to grow. It won a surprise nine seats in last year’s election but now stands to take 19 in the 150-seat lower house of parliament.
Commentators say the PvdA’s poor performance lays bare the crisis within the party, which is part of the current coalition government. Party leader Wouter Bos, who is also finance minister, has been attacked for making too many compromises with the Christian Democrats who lead the coalition.
Last weekend, old school PvdA politician and former environment minister Jan Pronk (photo) announced he was prepared to run for the job of party chairman. ‘Whoever wants a left-wing, clear political position, should vote for me,’ Pronk told television programme Nova.
The PvdA had been too quick to change its position on issues such as calls for an inquiry into the Iraq war, on redundancy law and on top people’s pay, Pronk told the programme.
At least four other people are up for the party chairman’s job. The winner will be announced on September 25. Bos has declined to comment on Pronk’s candidacy.

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