Friday 15 January 2021

‘Hoekstra effect’ boosts CDA but no ‘Kaag effect’ for D66: poll of polls

The Christian Democrats have jumped in support in the last poll of polls of the year following the appointment of new leader Wopke Hoekstra, but D66 has yet to cash in on its new campaign chief Sigrid Kaag.

The poll, an amalgam of three leading opinion polls, predicts what would happen if there were a general election tomorrow.

With four more seats in in the 150 seat lower house of parliament, compared with October, the CDA would become the third biggest party with 16 to 20 seats (10% to 12% of the vote).

Hoekstra took over from Hugo de Jonge earlier this month after the health minister stepped down from the job. He had been criticised because he could not dedicate himself fully to the election campaign because of his duties managing the coronavirus crisis.

The VVD has further consolidated its position as the biggest party with 39 to 45 seats, or up to 28.4%, although it is unclear how the child benefits scandal may impact the final election result in March. The PVV is steady at number two with 13% to 15% support.

The recent exodus of Forum for Democratie politicians over the party leader Thierry Baudet’s tolerance of anti-semitic messages has decimated the party’s gains predicted in the October poll of polls. Baudet’s far-right party now has the support of between 2% and 3.5% of voters.

The biggest winner of the provincial elections 18 months ago, the party has now been overtaken by the Partij voor de Dieren which is on 3% to 3.7% support.

GroenLinks is also losing support and Peilingwijzer maker Tom Louwerse estimates the party has lost some five seats during 2020.

‘All left wing parties are having trouble focusing people’s attention on issues such as climate change. The SP has lost seats as well …  and although Labour has gone up slightly, it is hardly a big player on the left,’ Louwerse said.

The unconvincing performance on the left of the political spectrum means the elections will be a battle between right wing parties, Peter Kanne of I&O research told broadcaster NOS.

D66 is yet to profit from its leadership change and there is no discernable [Sigrid] ‘Kaag effect’, the researchers say. The party is currently stuck on 10 to 14 seats, or no more than 8.9% support.  ChristenUnie remains on 5 to 7 seats. Unlike the VVD, neither coalition party is profiting from the government coronavirus policy.

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