Poll analysis: Rutte poised for big election win
One day before official election day, the polls has current prime minister Mark Rutte's VVD set for a big win. According to Peilingwijzer, which combines the data of three major polls, the VVD can grab up to 38 seats in parliament this election. Far-right PVV follows in a distant second place with up to 21 possible seats.
As the polls stand now, it seems likely that Rutte will lead yet another cabinet formation. A possible outcome is a left-center-right coalition of the VVD, CDA, D66 and PvdA. These four parties are projected to take between 75 and 87 out of the 150 seats in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament. This outcome is made possible as a number of parties, including the VVD, are not willing to work with Geert Wilders' PVV. GroenLinks and the VVD won't work together. And the SP also expressed reluctance to work with the VVD.
Otherwise, the VVD, PVV, CDA and D66 could join forces in a center-right-far-right coalition with 81 to 95 seats. But with the ongoing pandemic and accompanying economic crisis, Rutte, his VVD, and a number of other top parties already stressed that a quick cabinet formation is needed. This makes it unlikely that they'll want to take time to negotiate intensely with the PVV on issues like immigration and religious freedom, even if all parties were willing to work with the PVV. On Monday, Wilders said that he'd work with the VVD in a cabinet, but only if the cabinet will severely restrict immigration, especially from Islamic countries.
The current coalition of VVD, CDA, D66, and ChristenUnie are projected to take 69 to 81 seats, so a repeat of the Rutte III cabinet is not impossible. But it seems unlikely. While the VVD and CDA work excellently together - with Rutte naming the CDA as his only preference for a coalition speaking to Nieuwsuur on Friday - the D66 and ChristenUnie often clash on a number of fronts. This is especially the case on medical-ethical issues like euthanasia, and migration and asylum seekers.
All three the left-wing parties - GroenLinks, SP, and PvdA - have said they want to be part of the next cabinet, with at least one other left-wing party. But if center-right Rutte is leading the cabinet formation, it remains to be seen whether a left-leaning cabinet can be formed. GroenLinks and the VVD in particular don't seem like likely partners. Rutte has little appetite for GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver's climate plans and the two parties proved in the previous cabinet formation that they struggle to compromise with each other, with GroenLinks pulling out of negotiations twice. There is also little love lost between GroenLinks and the CDA for similar reasons.
While the SP seems reluctant to work with the VVD, Rutte recently praised SP leader LIlian Marijnissen in a televised election debate, calling her a "wonderful colleague". The VVD and PvdA previously worked together in the Rutte II cabinet. But as that cabinet resulted in the PvdA massively losing support, labor leader Lilianne Ploumen will likely take some hard stances with her into formation negotiations to try and prevent the PvdA being swallowed up by VVD plans.