EXIT POLL PUTS FAR RIGHT PVV AS THE LARGEST PARTY
IN DUTCH PARLIAMENT WITH DEFIANT WIN
22 NOVEMBER 2023
Exit poll puts far-right PVV as the largest party in Dutch parliament with defiant win
Figures in the article and the table of political parties below were updated at 10 p.m.
The first exit poll in the 2023 Dutch General Election showed political party PVV will become the largest party in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Parliament. The preliminary exit poll showed the far-right party from MP Geert Wilders leading with 35 of the 150 seats in the Tweede Kamer, more than double their current total of 18. The exit poll from Ipsos for NOS and RTL has a margin of error of 1-2 seats.
Dutch voters put the left-wing alliance of GroenLinks-PvdA in second place with 25 seats, an increase of eight compared to the two parties’ current total. The right-wing party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the VVD, will likely see its total number of MPs fall from 34 to 24. The three parties were projected to be neck-and-neck in most polling conducted in the past week.
NSC, the new party from MP Pieter Omtzigt, had been leading in the polls until recently. That party will swell to 20 seats in the Tweede Kamer. The only other party showing gains in this year’s election was BBB, which grew from one seat to seven, though showed a disappointing sixth place finish after taking the most seats in the Eerste Kamer, the upper house of Parliament, following the provincial elections in March.
The parties in a coalition to form Rutte’s Fourth Cabinet all suffered significant losses, according to the initial exit poll. D66 had been the second-largest party with 24 seats, but is now expected to lose 14 of their seats in the Tweede Kamer. The CDA, which had been Omtzigt’s party prior to a conflict in 2021, was expected to lose ten of its 15 seats. ChristenUnie was also projected to fall from five to three seats.
Most other parties in the lower house lost seats as well. The socialist party, SP, will likely see their tally fall from nine to five seats, and animal rights party PvdD should see their seat total cut in half to three seats. Pro-European party Volt was also projected to lose one of its three seats. Bij1 will likely lose its only seat in Parliament. Denk, was initially projected as losing one of its three seats, but revised figures showed them holding firm.
Far-right nationalist party FvD, led by Thierry Baudet, was projected to lose five of its eight seats, and far-right Ja21 was also likely to lose one of its three seats. The right-wing Christian party SGP will likely remain in the Tweede Kamer with three seats.
Enough voters also turned out to give the party 50Plus one seat in the Tweede Kamer. Technically, that will mark the party’s return to the lower house, as their only parliamentarian, Liane den Haan, left the party shortly after the election.
Municipalities are still counting the votes, and the final results can still change further. The Ipsos exit poll will also be refined further. Ballot boxes in the Netherlands officially closed their doors at 9 p.m., though voting will continue on the Dutch Caribbean Islands for an additional five hours, and ballots sent in the mail from people living abroad will still be counted for several days.
PVV finished strong after softening anti-Islam stance
Far-right opposition party PVV surged in the polling after party leader Geert Wilders softened his position as being fully against Islam. Before the election, Dutch voters said purchasing power, migration, and healthcare were most important to them. The housing shortage and the transition to sustainable energy came in fourth and fifth place.
Political scientists said they believed GroenLinks-PvdA missed the mark a bit by not focusing their campaign more on the climate – a topic that scores well among young voters and GroenLinks voters. The party leader, Frans Timmermans, led the merger of the two largest left-wing parties on a campaign appealing to the public as a blockade against a fully right-wing government that might need the support of far-right nationalists to build up a majority.
The party received a great deal of attention in debates for its plans to increase taxes on the wealthy and Dutch businesses to help cover the bill for the crises the Netherlands is facing, like climate change and the housing shortage.
The campaign for this year’s election got underway with independent MP Pieter Omtzigt launching his Nieuw Sociaal Contract party. The party platform put the most emphasis on limiting migration. It also proposed recalibrating the minimum wage and scrapping the nitrogen law to replace it with “a realistic alternative.” Omtzigt himself was often criticized for being vague or unclear about policy. Omtzigt also largely avoided saying who would be NSC’s pick for prime minister.
NSC initially led the polls, but then started trending downward in the weeks leading up to the election. The polling put the vote as a neck-and-neck race between four parties, including Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s VVD, now led by Justice Minister Dilan Yeşilgöz.
Total number of party members expected to sit in the Tweede Kamer after the 2023 General Election