Dutch coalition likely to lose 9 Senate seats in election; Many voters undecided
The Rutte IV coalition of VVD, D66, CDA, and ChristenUnie will lose nine seats in the Senate after today’s Provincial Council elections, according to EenVandaag and Ipsos’ final poll before the polling stations opened on Wednesday. The poll also found that a remarkable number of voters are still undecided.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s VVD could lose its throne as the biggest party in the Eerste Kamer to both the right-wing farmers’ party BBB or the left-wing combination of PvdA/GroenLinks. According to the latest poll, the VVD could get 12 seats in the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate. BBB stands at 13 projected seats and PvdA/GroenLinks at 14.
If this final poll comes close to the election result, the coalition will be even further away from a majority in the Eerste Kamer than after the 2019 election. Then the VVD, D66, CDA, and ChristenUnie got a joint 35 seats, already too few for a majority in the 75-seat Senate. According to the latest poll, the coalition will only have 23 seats after this election.
VVD stays stable at 12 seats. D66 drops from seven seats to 4, CDA drops from 9 to 5, and ChristenUnie from 4 to 2.
With 23 seats, the coalition would need 15 opposition seats’ support to pass anything through the Senate. It could go right-wing, working to gain support from BBB (13) and JA21 (3). Or it could look for help on the left from GroenLinks/PvdA (14) and SP (5).
According to the poll, today’s election will significantly shake up the Senate on the right wing. FvD will lose 10 of the 12 seats it won in 2019, leaving the far-right party with 2 seats. The PVV (8), BBB(13), and JA21 (3) all stand to make significant gains.
The picture on the left-wing side of the opposition is remarkably stable, EenVandaag said. PvdA/GroenLinks will get 14 seats, the same number the two parties got separately in 2019, at 8 for GroenLinks and 6 for PvdA. SP will gain one seat, going to 5, and animal party PvdD will go from 3 to 4.
The poll also showed that a remarkable number of voters were still undecided the day before the election. 43 percent of people who said they would vote did not yet know which party they would vote for. A day before the parliamentary election in 2021, 32 percent of voters were still dithering.
The many undecided voters could make the election results differ widely from the polls.