Almost all political parties leaning more left: Election Guide
Almost all political parties in the Netherlands are shifting to the left, resulting in the center being less empty than in previous elections, election guide Kieskompas concluded based on the parties' election programs. Political parties moved to the left en masse when it comes to the economic field, with a few exceptions. Most parties also became more progressive in the cultural field, compared to the previous parliamentary election in 2017, Trouw reports.
The coronavirus crisis played a big role in the linking of the political landscape, but the trend of parties becoming more left, or at least less right, has been going on for some time, Andre Krouwel, political scientist at the Vrije Universiteit and creator of the Kieskompas, said to Trouw. Well before the pandemic, there were many protests of people wanting to feel more economic prosperity under Rutte III. The largest ruling party VVD is already focusing more on the middle class, instead of mainly on the upper class, Krouwel said.
The dwindling electoral threat from the far-right also played a role. FvD's racism scandals and political infighting made it less of a threat over the past year. And the PVV is still setting itself as the guardian of the welfare state in the economic field, but more for the upper class than the rest of society, according to Krouwel.
This resulted in a return to the political center in the run-up to the 2021 parliamentary election. In 2017, ChristenUnie was very lonely in the center position. Now especially the CDA and the smaller 50Plus is joining the Christian party there. "The CDA sees the ChristenUnie getting closer in the polls," Krouwel said to the newspaper. "And is therefore focusing on the more moderate voters. There is no longer any profit for them on the right."
In 2017, the VVD and CDA's positions were still close to those of the PVV. Now VVD leader Mark Rutte and CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra both already ruled out working with the PVV in a next cabinet.
The Kieskompas also noticed a trend that parties group themselves not only left and right, but also in the diagonal - so left and progressive to right and conservative. This year only the PVV is deviating from that trend, explicitly seeking left-wing but conservative voters - people who feel economically and culturally threatened.