How do you vote? A survey studies the main points that influenced voters' decisions
On what did voters base their choice for the parliamentary elections last Wednesday? The answer to that question can be given on the basis of research that Ipsos carried out on behalf of the NOS among Dutch citizens who were entitled to vote.
It was sometimes said that this election was a lot about the puppets -- the party leaders. But that is not clear from the research of Ipsos. When people were asked why they voted for a party, an average of 30 percent said that the party leader appealed to them.
People could give several reasons, which means that other motives also reached about 30 percent: that people feel at home with a party, because a certain subject appeals to them or because they hope that the party will rule.
The choice of party leader differs per party. A 'Kaag effect' is visible for liberal party D66 voters: almost half of them say that their choice depended in part on leader Sigrid Kaag. At the pro-EU party Volt and the Party for Animals, the choice because of the party leader was rarely mentioned.
The debates with the party leaders also contributed little to determining the final vote. Only 14 percent of voters say those debates played a role in party choice. This was not the case for 56 percent.
These percentages were almost the same when voters were asked whether last few weeks' campaigns played a role in party choice: just over half of the voters said that they were not influenced in the last weeks.
The survey also shows that half of all voters say they carefully studied the positions of the parties before voting. This is noticeably higher among voters up to the age of 34, where 60 percent studied party programs.
For a quarter of the voters, a voting aid (Stemwijzer, Kieskompas or another website) played a major role in party choice. Half of the voters say this was irrelevant. These percentages differ among young people: 40 percent say that the voting aids played a significant role, 25 percent say not.
When people were asked when they decided which party to vote for, a quarter answered that they had made the decision months ago. Another quarter made up their minds in recent weeks. Another quarter did it in the days before the elections.
Ten percent of the people decided on election day. Five percent only chose the voting booth, red pencil in hand.