Third of voters want to use Senate election to punish Dutch gov't: poll

Almost a third of Dutch voters want to punish the Rutte III government for its policy during the Provincial States election on March 20th, according to the latest poll by research bureau I&O. A quarter of voters want to support the cabinet with his or her vote. And almost half said that they won't take into account whether or not the government coalition will get a majority in the Senate when they cast their vote, AD reports.

The voters for populist parties PVV and FvD are most in favor of using the Provincial States elections, during which the Senate is elected, to send the government a message. 76 percent of PVV voters and 75 percent of FvD voters said they'd use their vote to punish the government. Voters for the coalition parties want to support the government, with 82 percent of VVD voters, 70 percent of CDA voters, 52 percent of D66 voters and 50 percent of ChristenUnie voters saying they will cast their vote to do so.

The Rutte III coalition currently has the narrowest possible majority in the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate. If the coalition loses any seats in the upcoming election, the government will need the support of opposition parties to get anything passed through the Eerste Kamer.

The general dissatisfaction with the Rutte III government grew further in the past month, according tot he poll. The proportion of dissatisfied voters grew from 59 percent in January to 63 percent now. The share of satisfied voters decreased by four percent to 33 percent. 

Many voters are angry over the government calculating the energy bill increase for this year incorrectly. They're annoyed both by the government giving them incorrect information, and the extra, unexpected costs a higher energy bill will mean for them. Many voters also said that the government is making too many mistakes and getting away with it too easily. And that ordinary citizens have to carry too much of the burdens, for example with the climate policy. 

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