Undecideds, swayed voters could defy Dutch election polling

Dutch voter in Amsterdam at 2017 Netherlands parliamentary election
An Amsterdam resident registers her vote in the 2017 Netherlands parliamentary electionNL Times

The parliamentary election in the Netherlands today may well be decided by the undecided voters of yesterday. While the final polls, done on Tuesday, have the VVD in a solid lead, closely followed by the PVV and CDA, two thirds of Dutch voters hadn't yet decided who they will vote for at that time, according to a survey by I&O Research, the Volkskrant reports. 

The polls were also taken before 3.3 million people watched the final debate on Tuesday night. So swayed voters may also play a big part in the outcome. In short, this means that the end result of the election may well be vastly different from the final polls. Past elections show that the difference between the final polls and the election results is usually about 20 seats spread over the various parties. 

Another major factor is the turnout - how many Dutch will actually show up to vote. According to Ipsos, a third of voters voted by 1:45 p.m. - significantly more than in the 2012 election, when 27 percent voted by that time.

"It is still too early to say whether the total turnout at the end of the day will be higher than in the 2012 election", Peter Kanne of I&O said to the newspaper. "The turnout can cause huge shifts with regards to the final polls. If the turnout is lower than expected, mainly loyal voters show up who always vote, and that is good for the CDA and PvdA for example. A high turnout could mean that the PVV scores better than expected."