Coronavirus has increased confidence in politics and politicians

The Netherlands has never had a female prime minister. Photo:
The Netherlands has never had a female prime minister. Photo:

The coronavirus crisis has lead to a sharp rise in the number of people who have faith in politics and politicians, according to the annual NOS budget day survey by Ipsos.

Almost two thirds of the Dutch now have confidence in prime minister Mark Rutte, double the total before the 2017 general election. Almost six in 10 people think Rutte is the ideal prime minister, and that includes half PvdA and GroenLinks voters, the Ipsos survey shows.

However, finance minister Wopke Hoekstra gets the highest score from voters, with 6.7 out of 10, compared with Rutte’s 6.2. Justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus, who recently hit the headlines for breaking social distancing guidelines at his wedding, was bottom of the list with a score of just 4.3.

Despite the positive score for the cabinet, some 40% of the population say they are concerned about the increase in the state debt to pay for coronavirus measures, and one third think the government’s strategy will damage the economy.

And while just over 25% say the coronavirus rules should be relaxed, around 50% think they should be better enforced.

In the long term, people have also become more gloomy about the economy and for the first time in four years, pessimists are in the majority. And 30% say they are already feeling the financial impact of the crisis, Ipsos said.

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