Wilders Lead Over Rutte Party Narrows in Dutch Poll of PollsBy
New I&O poll shows Rutte’s Liberals ahead of Wilders’s party
D66 tied with Wilders for second in I&O survey, Greens follow
The lead that Geert Wilders’s populist Freedom Party holds over Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s Liberals is narrowing four weeks ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, according to a poll of polls published on Wednesday.
Wilders’s party has lost support equivalent to four to six seats in the 150-member parliament since the end of last year, according to the Peilingwijzer aggregate poll. The elections are scheduled for March 15.
Meanwhile, a new poll by I&O Research, issued Wednesday, put the Liberals back on top with 24 seats, taking over from Wilders’s party. The Freedom Party dropped six seats and was tied for second place with Alexander Pechtold’s Democrats ’66 on 20 seats. The Greens, led by Jesse Klaver, came next with 19 seats.
Though Wilders is still ahead in most polls, his chances of taking power are slim, with all the other main parties, including Rutte’s Liberals, ruling out cooperating with him to form a government. That makes a coalition of four or more mainstream parties the likely outcome.
Rutte’s stance of ruling out governing with Wilders is paying off, according to I&O, which cited some respondents as saying they will back Rutte to make sure Wilders stays out of power. Pechtold is also viewed by those polled as a strong anti-Wilders candidate, I&O said. The pollster surveyed 2,817 voters, mostly online, from Feb. 10 to Feb. 14.
* Peilingwijzer combines the polls of I&O Research, Ipsos, Kantar Public, LISS-panel, Peil.nl and EenVandaag.
*Below are the results, with the parties’ initials in Dutch after the name, where applicable:
|Parties||Feb. 15||Dec. 30||2012|
|Liberal Party (VVD)||23-27||23-28||41|
|Labor Party (PvdA)||11-13||10-14||38|
|Freedom Party (PVV)||25-29||29-35||15|
|Christian Dems. (CDA)||15-17||14-16||13|
|Reformed Party (SGP)||3-5||3-5||3|
|Animal Party (PvdD)||4-6||3-5||2|
|Forum voor Democratie||0-1||0-1||--|