The ruling Labour party and opposition GroenLinks both launched their election campaigns at the weekend by attacking both the anti-Islam PVV and the right-wing Liberal VVD at their annual conferences.
Labour’s new leader Lodewijk Asscher, who is currently social affairs minister in the coalition government with the VVD, told supporters he wants his party to be a ‘decent, social alternative’ to Geert Wilders’ PVV in the March vote.
Support for the PvdA has plunged since the 2012 general election, when the party won 38 seats. It is now on target to win around 11.
The VVD, Asscher warned, could end up running the country with the PVV. Prime minister Mark Rutte is ‘acting as if [the VVD] is the alternative to Wilders, but you could end up with two for the price of one,’ Asscher said.
The VVD and CDA were propped up in a minority cabinet by the PVV from 2010 to 1012, when Wilders pulled the plug on the alliance.
All the big parties have said they will not work with Wilders, although the VVD says that would be possible if he withdrew the ‘fewer Moroccans’ comments which led to his conviction for inciting discrimination. The PVV is currently leading in most opinion polls.
Meanwhile GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver called on Christian parties to work together with the left to keep Rutte and Wilders out of government. ‘I hope to form the first progressive cabinet in almost half a century together with my Christian friends,’ Klaver said.
He has been urging the Labour party, Socialists and Liberal Democratic party D66 to form a front against the right and agree not to form a government without each other for several weeks.
However, Klaver’s overtures may be in vain, following the GroenLinks congress decision to include an end to state funding of religious schools in the party’s election manifesto.
GroenLinks won just four seats at the 2012 general election but recent polls show the party could win as many as 14 on March 15.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation