With the general election just four weeks away, here is a round-up of Tuesday’s other election news.
Five parties top poll for innovation: TNO
According to research institute TNO, which has analysed the main party manifestos for their influence on the innovation economy, the VVD, CU, Volt and D66 are the best for the Netherlands.
The institute looked at whether innovation is mentioned, whether the party plans to ensure the Lisbon agreement is implemented and invest 3% of GDP on R&D, their long-term vision, the innovation climate and social impact.
The far right PVV and the SP are worst performers. The Lisbon target is only supported by six of the 16 parties analysed but nearly all had included policies on stimulating innovation aimed at driving social change.
Housing dominates RTL Nieuws panel
The housing market is the biggest election issue facing the Netherlands, according to members of the RTL Nieuws panel, who were asked to highlight the main areas where they want to see government action.
Some 59% of panel members said the housing market was a cause for concern, but that rose to 70% among young adults.
Healthcare was the second biggest theme particularly rising insurance costs, with poverty and economic inequality in third place. Panel members on both a minimum income and those with better salaries said they were concerned about the cost of living.
Asylum and immigration came in fourth place. “Lots of right-wing voters want to see new limits, as do a fair number of left-wing voters,” said poll compiler Gijs Rademaker. Left-wing voters are more concerned about the Netherlands’ failure to provide enough decent accommodation to asylum seekers, Rademaker said.
Crime and public safety, and climate change, tied for fifth place in the ranking.
Voters still mistrust politicians: SCP
Meanwhile the government’s socio-cultural think-tank SCP has published new research which shows public faith in government has still not been restored. Three in five voters are still unhappy with the way the system works in The Hague and that is low compared with the past 15 years.
“National politics itself is a cause for concern among many, and people expect this to improve with the new government,” the report said. “That means really tackling problems and better listening to what people want.”
Ombudsman calls on government to really listen
The national ombudsman also published a report on Tuesday calling on the government to listen better to voters when trying to repair damage caused by mistakes on its part.
For example, the project set up to help victims of the childcare benefit scandal has paid scant attention to their actual needs, ombudsman Reinier van Zutphen said.
Officials rarely talk to the victims or their representative organisations and this means “they don’t know what the victims actually need,” he said. In addition, more also needs to be done to cut red tape surrounding such processes.
VVD voters not keen on potential alliance with the far right
Research by polling company Ipsos suggests a cabinet involving the far right PVV is a non- starter, even though VVD leader Dilan Yesilgöz has said she does not rule out working with Geert Wilders.
Some 33% of VVD supporters say they do not want to be in a coalition with the PVV, while 53% of PVV voters are opposed to the VVD.
Pieter Omtzigt’s fledgling party Nieuw Sociaal Contract is the favourite coalition party of the VVD and BBB, and second on the list of potential partners for the PVV and the GroenLinks/PvdA alliance.
More to follow
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