One in five people have still not made up their minds who to vote for in the general election on March 17 and 23% plan to switch to a different party from last time round, according to researchers at the VU University and Kieskompas.
In addition, researchers see three main electoral battlefields emerging, with just two weeks to go in the campaign, broadcaster NOS reported on Wednesday.
Firstly, there is a struggle to attract the far right vote. People still planning to vote for FvD following its near collapse, are mainly young, while Geert Wilders’ PVV attracts an older audience.
‘Many voters have been shocked by the extremist statements made by members of [Thierry] Baudet’s party and have switched back to the PVV,’ Kieskompas director Andre Krouwel said.
Secondly, the VVD and Christian Democrats are also competing for voters, and their support is mainly made up of people of middle age with a reasonable level of education who consider the economy, safety and democratic freedoms to be most important, the researchers say.
And thirdly, the Labour party (PvdA) and GroenLinks are both competing for voters who consider the environment, social security, education, and art and culture to be the most important issues. Their supporters tend to be young, well educated and primarily female.
The most loyal voters back the far right PVV and fundamentalist Protestant SGP, but the ruling VVD has also been able to retain much of its support, the research shows.
By contrast, 50Plus, the far right Forum voor Democratie and the pro-animal Partij voor de Dieren have the least loyal voters.
‘It is actually absurd that right wing politicians are getting so much media coverage because their voters are more certain of their plans,’ Krouwel said. ‘And the doubts among left wing voters have arisen because they realise there is no left-wing majority to be had.’
This, he said, gives the PvdA (Labour party) the edge over GroenLinks. ‘The coming weeks are crucial for [PvdA leader] Lilianne Ploumen to show that she can become part of the next coalition.’
The current coalition government is made up of the VVD, CDA, Liberal democratic party D66 and Christian party ChristenUnie.
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