The PvdA returned to the polls before the departure of party leader Asscher. In the Polling Guide, the PvdA now stands at 10 to 12 seats, 2 to 3 seats less than in the previous Polling Guide of 23 December. The party is again dangerously close to the dramatic result of the parliamentary elections four years ago, when the PvdA dropped from 38 to 9 seats.
The polls on which this Polling Guide is based were held before Asscher left unexpectedly yesterday morning. Tom Louwerse, the creator of the Polling Guide, points out that for a long time the PvdA was cautiously recovering from the blow of 2017. “In the coronacrisis the party initially fell back a little, after which recovery followed to 15 seats in the autumn. But especially in the last month the party is dropping away again.”
That seems entirely the result of the payment affair. Asscher‘s own story that he would be the man who could restore confidence did not make use of his potential constituents. Opposite research firm I&O, voters who walk away from the PvdA or think about it spontaneously call Asscher’s role in the payment affair. They mainly move to GroenLinks and the SP and to a lesser extent to D66.
Does the departure of Asscher mean that the PvdA can find its way up again? Research researcher Peter Kanne of I&O Research does not rule that out. “Pvda voters mainly expressed doubts. They didn‘t say they were definitely turning their backs on the Labour Party. It depends very much on who will become the new leader. Arib scores pretty well, but Aboutaleb and Timmermans are real voice cannons. If they become, you’re really going to see a rise.” By the way, Timmermans announced yesterday that he was not available.
The Polling Guide shows little movement. The VVD remains the largest party with 41 to 45 seats by distance. According to research firm Ipsos, Rutte continues to benefit electorally from the coronacrisis and the strict corona measures are very popular.
The VVD is followed at a great distance by the PVV (18-22), the CDA (16-20), D66 (13-15) and GroenLinks (11-13). The growth of the CDA since the arrival of Wopke Hoekstra as a leader has come to a standstill and the decline of GroenLinks is not continuing. Louwerse points out that GroenLinks handed in about 5 seats last year.
For D66, according to Louwerse, the trend is not unfavorable. “D66 rose clearly when Sigrid Kaag became a leader, and since then there has been a slightly rising line, with some ups and downs. D66 seems to be doing a little better now than two months ago, although the profit is just not significant.”
The free fall in which Forum for Democracy sat seems to be over. The party is now more or less stable at 3-5 seats. FvD and the PVV do get competition from JA21, which has a serious chance to be the only new party in the House of Representatives. In the Polingwijzer the party of Joost Eerdmans and Annabel Nanninga stands at 0-3 seats. The research conducted by I&O Research shows that the growth of JA21 is mainly at the expense of the PVV and FvD. The party seems to attract voters who are less dissatisfied with government policy. The VVD still has little to be scared of JA21.
Whether the fall of the Cabinet will result in electoral shifts is still unpredictable. “It depends very much on which story the parties manage to make”, says Kanne. Louwerse points out that the so-called old law that pays the breaker does not have to be applied in any case. “When the PvdA broke with the Balkenende cabinet in 2010, the party found its way up again.”
DeccEit publishes De Polingwijzer with some regularity. It merges polls of De Beiling (EenVandaag and Ipsos), I&O Research and Kantar. Maurice de Hond does not want to cooperate with Peil.nl on the Polingwijzer. More about the method behind the Polling Guide can be found on the website of political scientist Tom Louwerse.