Trust in Dutch politics plummeted this past year
Netherlands residents' confidence in politics fell sharply over the past year, with a vast majority of people saying that the cabinet formation process dragging on for six months with no end in sight is the reason for their growing distrust, Ipsos found in the survey it does annually for NOS in the run-up to Budget Day.
61 percent of Netherlands residents said they have little to no confidence in national politics, compared to 38 percent last year. 63 percent have lost confidence in the current Rutte III cabinet, compared to 38 percent last year. And a lack of confidence in Prime Minister Mark Rutte himself increased from 32 percent last year to 56 percent this year.
Important reasons for the lack of confidence were the health policy, the housing market, and the stalling cabinet formation process. 72 percent of respondents told Ipsos that the length of the formation process damaged their confidence in politics. A similar percentage said that the Netherlands cannot afford this 6-months long formation given all the problems at stake.
The Ipsos researchers also asked respondents specifically about their confidence in the main authorities involved in the coronavirus crisis - public health institute RIVM, the security regions, the mayors, caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and caretaker Health Minister Hugo de Jonge. Confidence in the RIVM, security regions and mayors remained relatively stable.
But confidence in Rutte and De Jonge took a blow. Last year, two thirds of Netherlands residents thought Rutte was handling the pandemic well. Now that is less than half, with about 40 percent even saying Rutte is doing a bad or very bad job in handling this crisis, compared to 21 percent last year. Last year 59 percent said De Jonge was handling the crisis well, now that dropped to 47 percent.