Majority of Dutch plan to vote for Big Data law in referendum: polls

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More Dutch plan to vote for a law that will give the Dutch intelligence services more capabilities to eavesdrop on people than plan to vote against. In every one of four recent polls, there are more "for" voters than "against" voters, NOS reports.

The Intelligence and Security law gives the Dutch intelligence services AIVD and MIVD the capability to collect, store and analyze large amounts of internet data. A referendum on implementing this law will be held on Wednesday, March 21st - the same day as the municipal elections. 

An I&O research poll on March 14th shows that 51 percent of respondents plan to vote for implementing this law, 30 percent will vote against and 19 percent don't know yet. A poll on March 11th shows 45 percent 'for' voters, 42 percent 'against', and 13 percent don't know. A Kantar Public poll on March 9th shows 35 percent 'for', 24 percent 'against', 26 percent don't know and 15 percent don't plan to vote. An EenVandaag poll on February 27th shows 48 percent 'for', 32 percent 'against' and 20 percent don't know.

For the referendum to be valid, it needs a turnout of at least 30 percent. A number of the polls also asked people whether they intended to vote in the referendum. 33 percent of Kantar Public respondents plan to vote, 55 percent of I&O Research respondents, and 40 percent of respondents. 

The combined picture of polls in the run-up to the Ukraine referendum also showed a turnout rate well above the required 30 percent, but in the end the threshold was just reached with a turnout of 32 percent. As this referendum is held on the same day as the parliamentary elections, it is expected that more people will vote in the referendum because they're already at the polling station to vote in the election. 

The government already indicated that it will not necessarily follow the outcome of the referendum, according to NOS. But if the 30 percent threshold is achieved and the majority votes against implementing the law, Dutch parliament will be obliged to at least debate the law again.