The coalition government is set to lose 11 seats in the 75-seat senate following next month’s provincial elections, according to a new poll of polls. The right-wing Liberal VVD and Labour party PvdA are already five seats short of a majority in the upper house.
The Netherlands will elect 12 new provincial councils on March 18. The members of those councils will, in turn, elect the new senate in May.
The big winner in the poll – an average of five other opinion polls – is the Liberal democratic party D66 which is on target to win seven seats, taking its total to 12. The anti-Islam PVV is likely to win two more seats, putting it in joint lead, along with the VVD and D66.
The poll shows the government is unlikely to keep control of the upper house even with the help of the three friendly opposition parties – D66 and the two minor religious parties ChristenUnie and the SGP. This is likely to present even more headaches for the government in winning approval for its more controversial policies.
Education and pension reforms have only been approved in the senate thanks to agreements with other parties.
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