Support for Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam PVV has fallen to its lowest level this year, although the party remains the biggest with the backing of 22% of voters, according to the latest Maurice de Hond opinion poll.
The new poll gives the PVV a virtual 33 seats in the 150 seat parliament, down nine, or six percentage points, on their all time high of 42 seats in February this year.
The ruling VVD, lead by prime minister Mark Rutte, remains in second place with 16% of the vote, an increase of less than 1% on the previous poll.
The poll comes as Rutte apologised to voters for making election promises in 2012 that he could not keep. The prime minister also announced his intention to the lead the VVD into the next election in March 2017.
According to the De Hond poll, 40% of the electorate would like to see Rutte as prime minister for a third term and 31% consider him to be the country’s most capable leader. One in 10 PVV voters also back Rutte for PM.
The De Hond poll is based on the responses of 5,000 people and was carried out on Friday, the day after the publication on the PVV election manifesto.
In the one page document, the party called for a ban on the Koran, the closure of all mosques and an end to government spending on aid, the arts, wind turbines and innovation.
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