Politics and Elections in the Netherlands: November 22 snap election, Rutte to leave (user search)
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  Politics and Elections in the Netherlands: November 22 snap election, Rutte to leave (search mode)
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Author Topic: Politics and Elections in the Netherlands: November 22 snap election, Rutte to leave  (Read 24788 times)
Death of a Salesman
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« on: March 18, 2023, 05:14:13 PM »

At the national level, the right has managed 38.6% of the vote. The Rutte coalition has managed a whopping 28.0%. The left has managed 29.7%. More than a third of Rutte voters have deserted their parties. Clearly, Rutte's centrism has lost some appeal with voters.

There are four basic coalitions which can be examined.

1: A purely right coalition, encompassing BBB, PVV, JA21, FvD, SGP, and maybe 50+.

2: A center-right coalition, encompassing the three tractable conservative parties (BBB, JA21, and SGP), and the three vaguely conservative Rutte parties (VVD, CU, CDA).

3: A center-left coalition, encompassing the 4 Rutte Parties and the three tractable leftist parties (PvdA, GL, and Volt). This is unwise from an electoral perspective for VVD and CDA, who need conservative voters, but there will be some inclination to these over the center-right when the math works out.

4: A purely left coalition, encompassing every party left of Rutte (PvdA, PvdD, SP, GL, Volt), and the two Rutte parties which seem at all willing (CU and D66).

At the national level, the right has managed 38.6% of the vote. The Rutte coalition has managed a whopping 28.0%. The left has managed 29.7%. More than a third of Rutte voters have deserted these parties.

In Drenthe, 22 seats are needed. The center-right has 27. The right has 21, with 1 seat held by a seemingly conservative regional party. Center-right or right.

In Flevoland, 21 seats are needed. The center-right has 22. The right has 20, with 1 seat held by a seemingly conservative regional party. Center-right or right.

In Friesland, 22 seats are needed. The center-right has 24. The right & center-left have 18 seats, with 5 seats held by vaguely centrist regional parties. Center-right almost certainly, but there exists the possibility of a right or center-left government.

In Gelderland, 28 seats are needed. The center-right has 32, while the center-left has 28. Either coalition is possible, so it depends on what the Rutte parties prefer.

In Groningen, 22 seats are needed. The center-left and left coalitions have 20, and the center-right has 19. 4 seats are held by regionalist parties, which seem to be generally center-right in nature. I anticipate a center-right government, since the regionalist parties should be unwilling to work with the left-wing parties on the nitrogen issue.

In Limburg, 24 seats are needed. The center-right has 22 seats, with 2 seats going to a regionalist party. I anticipate a center-right government.

In North Brabant, 28 seats are needed. The center-left has 27 seats, with 27 seats going to the center-right and 2 seats to a centrist regional party. Either coalition is possible, so it depends on what the Rutte parties prefer.

In North Holland, 28 seats are needed. The center-left has 30 seats, and is the only viable coalition.

In Overjissel, 24 seats are needed. The center-right has 31 seats, and the right falls narrowly short of plausibility with 23 seats.

In South Holland, 28 seats are needed. The center-left has 29 seats, and the center-right has 28. Either coalition is possible, so it depends on what the Rutte parties prefer.

In Utrecht, 25 seats are needed. The center-left has 30 seats,  while the center-right & the left have 24 seats. A center-left government seems to be the most plausible outcome.

In Zeeland, 20 seats are needed. The center-right has 25 seats, and is the only plausible government.

Of the 12 Provincial governments, I would forecast as follows
Right or Center-Right: 2
Center-Right: 5
Center-Right or Center-Left: 3
Center-Left: 2

Thus BBB should be in the government of between 7 and 10 provinces. The Rutte parties, by dint of centrism, should be in government in at least 10 provinces, and I would guess they will be in the government of all 12.

There can be no practical cordon sanitaire of the right in 7 of 12 provinces. Whether they like it or not, Rutte's coalition must come to terms with the right in order for a government to form in many provinces.
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Death of a Salesman
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2023, 06:57:58 PM »

I appreciate the work in the above analysis, and the numerical game really matters, and the above prediction will probably be sort of correct in many cases simply because of the maths. However, the above analysis ignores local factors: for instance, the extent to which the provincial VVD/CDA are supportive of the national government's nitrogen policy (which can be counterintuitive - for instance, Noord-Brabant is an agricultural powerhouse but Noord-Brabant's VVD is one of the "greenest"). It also ignores issues which aren't related to nitrogen - I guess this is where the term "political culture", which I normally don't tend to use because it's so vague, starts to matter too (for instance: Limburg is likely to have another "extraparliamentary" government, without a big coalition agreement, since most parties were satisfied with the way this promoted dualism and transparency last term - but due to the numbers game, policy will absolutely have a right-wing signature). It ignores the fact that VVD/CDA on the one hand and D66 on the other hand have very real differences among them and will not necessarily see each others as allies provincially everywhere. And it ignores potential cooperation of left-wing parties (PvdA, perhaps SP) with BBB (I wouldn't rule this out in the North and the East). Much of my criticism of the above boils down to the fact that in the Netherlands, the three "blocs" are a useful unit of analysis to look at voter movements and to restore some order to the madness of the 20 parties we have, but they are not formal or informal electoral blocs like we (used to) see in Scandinavia.

Provinces have a tradition of oversized governments which aren't too ideologically left or right in nature but consist of the biggest parties (but not too many of them). Only recently, due to massive fragmentation, have majorities become more narrow, while at the same time a much larger number of parties has been needed in some cases. Any purely "right" coalitions aren't going to happen anyway. The possibility greatly strengthens BBB's position, but they will never enter a government with only FVD/PVV/JA21.

In the end it's difficult to predict in which coalitions BBB will take part. I suspect much will depend on the leeway the national government will provide - and on whether we will even have a national government by then.

Absolutely. There are a lot of local factors that I'm ignoring for this, but the general strength of BBB, combined with the seats held by unworkable right-wing and left-wing parties, nearly guarantees BBB (and probably JA21) entry into the governments of many provinces.

I will say that a PvdA-BBB coalition seems tough to imagine. BBB isn't technically a single issue party, but their voters are overwhelmingly opposed to the nitrogen party. Do you really think provincial PvdA parties would compromise that plank?
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Death of a Salesman
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2023, 07:56:58 PM »

I don't think it's impossible in places like Friesland, Drenthe or Overijssel, where the PvdA isn't dominated by people from big cities and consists of people more understanding of the situation of farmers and more eager to strike a compromise. The PvdA aren't in the national government either, so provincial branches will in practice have quite a bit of autonomy. Ultimately, in many cases, CDA/VVD will have to decide between forming incoherent coalitions of 6-8 parties and risking even more popular anger, or biting the bullet and striking some sort of compromise with BBB. If they do the latter, I won't rule out PvdA/CU joining such coalitions in rural provinces. (The effect this would have on GL-PvdA merger plans, however, would be interesting...) Also remember the PvdA in Overijssel were really close to entering a coalition with FVD last time, until the national leadership interfered.

All of this reminds me of the previous coalition in the municipality of Barendrecht, where local party EVB held 14 out of 29 seats and all six other parties (VVD, PvdA, D66, CDA, CU/SGP, GL) on the council formed a coalition consisting of 15 seats. In the following election, EVB crushed the coalition won an absolute majority of 20 out of 29 seats. This is the type of scenario establishment parties will want to avoid.
That the national leadership interfered against coalitions with FvD is evidence that coalitions with BBB might arouse some controversy, is it not? Of course BBB is not FvD, but the FvD of 2019 was a substantially more moderate party.

Refusing to work with BBB would be electorally bad for every party on the right, but I doubt that D66/CU/SP would suffer all that much. If PvdD or GL worked with BBB they'd immediately lose most of their voters.

Also, PvdA isn't that electorally powerful. Drenthe is the only province where BBB+PvdA would be close to a majority. JA21 has a better reputation than the other conservative parties, but this is because their national liberalism overlaps with the right-liberalism of VVD. Adding them to a BBB+PvdA coalition would be awkward. FvD and PVV are unworkable for any self-respecting party of the left. SGP could perhaps join such a coalition. Still, the math is rather awkward. VVD and CDA will probably be more natural coalition partners for BBB.


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Death of a Salesman
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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2023, 08:54:48 PM »

We can look at the current executives as a guide, but they are already unwieldy, and yet short of a majority everywhere. BBB involvement seems assured in several provinces.

Drenthe has a PvdA/VVD/CDA/GL/CU government. This has 15 seats, with 22 needed for a majority. BBB involvement seems unavoidable.

Flevoland has a VVD/GL/CDA/PvdA/CU/D66 government. These parties have 16 seats, with 21 needed for a majority. BBB involvement seems unavoidable.

Freisland has a CDA/VVD/PvdA/FNP government. These parties have 16 seats, with 22 needed for a majority. Adding GL, D66, and CU would bring them to 22, but this seems unduly awkward, so I suspect it will be BBB and some conservative parties.

Gelderland has a PvdA/CDA/VVD/GL/CU government. These parties have 23 seats, with 28 needed for a majority. D66, Volt, and 50+ combined would bring them to 28, but this 8 party government seems unwieldy, so again BBB will probably join.

Groningen has a GL/PvdA/CU/VVD/CDA/D66 government.These parties have won 19 seats of the 22 needed. If the regionalists can be brought on board, this could stay. Otherwise, some new and unwieldy coalition must be formed.

Limburg is an unusual case.

North Brabant has a VVD/CDA/D66/PvdA/GL government. These parties have 26 seats, with 28 needed. Local Brabant has 2, and was part of a prior more right-wing government. JA21 has 2, but GL would certainly leave. It seems likely that BBB will join.

North Holland has a GL/PvdA/VVD/D66 government. These parties have 25 of the needed 28 seats. CDA has 2, as does Volt. If both can be accommodated, a reasonably current coalition could be maintained. 50+ also has 2 seats.

Overijssel has a a CDA/VVD/CU/SGP/PvdA government. These parties have 16 of the needed 24 seats. BBB and the intractable right possess 20. There is no reasonable path forward without BBB, but perhaps PvdA will do their past to stay within an otherwise conservative government.

South Holland has a VVD/SGP/CU/GL/PvdA/CDA government. These parties have 26 of 28 seats needed. D66 has 4 seats, 50+ and Volt have 1 each. Probably some centrist grand coalition will remain.

Utrecht has a GL/D66/CDA/PvdA/CU government. These parties have 22 of the 25 needed. VVD has 6 seats, Volt has 2, 50+ has 1. I don’t know VVD is out of the government, but they can be included easily in a centre-left coalition.   

Zeeland has a VVD/SGP/PvdA/CDA government. VVD+SGP+CDA is 14 seats, with 6 going to the GL-PvdA combined list. 20 is needed for a majority. If they can keep GL on board, this executive can stay. Otherwise, it must add parties.

If VVD and CDA are willing, they could be Rutte-PvdA/GL coalitions in 3-6 provinces. BBB seems likely to join the government in 6-10 provinces. Overijssel is the only province where it’s easy to see PvdA and BBB together. In other provinces, it would require a dedication to work together with BBB in lieu of more suitable partners that would imperil attempts to create a joint PvdA/GL bloc.
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Death of a Salesman
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2023, 06:28:47 PM »

According to a new projection by ANP Election Desk, BBB will gain another seat and go to 17 while D66 lose another seat and go to 5. This projection is based on the preliminary results of all municipalities, 95% of the counted votes in Amsterdam and the vote from abroad. Apparently there were some other changes in the meantime that I missed too (PVV keeping its 5th seat, Volt gaining only one).

Projection:
BBB 17 (+17), GL-PvdA 15 (+1), VVD 10 (-2), D66 5 (-2), PVV 5 (nc), CDA 5 (-4), PvdD 4 (+1), SP 3 (-1), JA21 3 (+3), FVD 2 (-10), CU 2 (-2), SGP 1 (-1), 50Plus 1 (-1), OSF 1 (nc), Volt 1 (+1).

Government: 22
Government+GL-PvdA: 37

Left/progressive opposition: 23
Coalition: 22
Right/conservative opposition: 28
50Plus and OSF unclassified

Rutte+GL-PvdA-Volt would still be a majority, but a very narrow one. VVD and CDA voters wouldn't exactly be thrilled about this.

The manageable conservative/populist parties have 21 seats. VVD/CDA/CU has 17, so that would be a workable group. 
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Death of a Salesman
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2023, 02:49:20 PM »

How would hypothetical referendum on nitrogen targets would go?
Depends on the targets, but the current ones: definitely against. Margin could be anywhere between 55-45 and 75-25 in favor of "no" (VVD and CDA are more in favor of these targets than most of their voters). But the referendum was abolished by the previous government.
It seems as if most CDA and VVD voters want a bourgeois right coalition. Is this also something preferred by a substantial fraction of CU voters, or would they side with D66 in preferring an agreement with PvdA-GL?
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Death of a Salesman
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2023, 06:50:56 PM »

What would a victory look like for Rutte here?

VVD and CDA could keep working together, and they could fairly easily add BBB, SGP, and JA21. In recent polls, those five parties would have between 63 and 68 seats.

Parties to the right of VVD are polling at between 18 and 21 seats, but FvD is unreasonable and BVNL is tiny. A six-party coalition with PVV would be the only reasonable majority. VVD and CDA have worked with PVV before, but it didn't go over too well. Yet that would be the only possible coalition unless the center-right has a massive surge.

To the best of my knowledge, this would be the first ALDE-ID coalition on a national level. The Finns Party was in ID, but they moved to ECR before the election.
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Death of a Salesman
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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2023, 07:46:43 PM »

What would a victory look like for Rutte here?

VVD and CDA could keep working together, and they could fairly easily add BBB, SGP, and JA21. In recent polls, those five parties would have between 63 and 68 seats.

Parties to the right of VVD are polling at between 18 and 21 seats, but FvD is unreasonable and BVNL is tiny. A six-party coalition with PVV would be the only reasonable majority. VVD and CDA have worked with PVV before, but it didn't go over too well. Yet that would be the only possible coalition unless the center-right has a massive surge.

I don't think the VVD would call a snap election to play second fiddle which would probably mean no coalition with the BBB unless the VVD vote rose significantly higher than where it is right now. As for a victory, I think it would mean placing ahead of at least one of BBB or PvdA/GL, which would give him a feasible path to form a government. Ideally, he would want to place ahead of both, but who knows if that will happen. My opinion is that calling an election now is a mistake as I don't think the BBB is going to maintain its current heights forever.

To the best of my knowledge, this would be the first ALDE-ID coalition on a national level. The Finns Party was in ID, but they moved to ECR before the election.

It has happened in Estonia when the Estonian Centre Party (ALDE) was in coalition with EKRE (ID) from 2019 to 2021.

BBB is polling quite well, but they're more or less a single-issue party, and that issue isn't immigration. If this election is about immigration, BBB will drop, and VVD isn't that far behind.
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Death of a Salesman
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2023, 03:40:07 PM »

On current polling VVD will be the largest party again, followed by BBB, PvdA/Groenlinks combination, PVV and the others.

Quote
VVD and CDA could keep working together, and they could fairly easily add BBB, SGP, and JA21. In recent polls, those five parties would have between 63 and 68 seats.

Is not likely to happen and it will only lead to a very unstable coalition. Even worse than the current one.
CDA is falling apart and is eaten alive by BBB as we speak.
BBB is not a strong party. Their support is a wide but narrow. And they donīt have the people to create a stable parliamentary party.
SGP is the fundamentalist Christian party. Their core values are not popular with about 90% of the public (shops closing on sundays, no abortion, no gay marriage).
JA21 might be the only stable partner of the four parties (not counting the VVD). But there are also a lot of unknows about them.

And even with all of them there is no majority within parliament. So they need to find a sixth party to fill the gap.

Look, about 70 to 75% of the voters are done with Rutte. He is not popular, is seen as a liar and untrustworthy and judged as someone who does not seem to care too much about the state of the nation. His supporters (the VVD voters) donīt mind all of that because they are not suffering from the effects of his policies.
The biggest problem is: there is no alternative. There is no one within the poltical landscape who looks like he or she can really challenge Rutte for the crown. Not Van der Plas nor Wilders or Kuiken or anybody else.
So Rutte wins by default. Not because of he is strong (the VVD is not polling great either) because of the others are weaker.
If you think Rutte is going to win again and that a conservative coalition won't be formed, what do you imagine is going to happen?

BBB and CDA are working together in 5 of the 12 formed provincial executives, there's clearly no red line there.

BBB may be a flash in the pan single issue party, but that makes them more desirable as a governing partner, since by implementing their agenda you can steal their voters.

SGP is in the provincial executives of three provinces, working with BBB and VVD in all three, with CDA in two, with CU in two, and with PVV in one. None of these parties would blackball them. They wouldn't win a ban on abortion and they're not delusional enough to ask for one.

The full six party group might drop SGP or JA21, but there's no other plausible coalition with the current polls.


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