Dutch exit poll: D66 leads the way, Wilders loses way

Exit polls taken during yesterday’s European Parliament election in the Netherlands suggest that two parties – the progressive liberal Democrats 66 (D66) and the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) – will emerge as the winners.

Geert WildersParty for Freedom (PVV), the populist right movement that had been set to perform well, is set to be the main loser, going from four to three seats, while the governing parties, the Liberal VVD and the Labour Party (PvdA), are likely to have seen their share of the vote fall while hanging on to their current number of seats.

A spokesperson for the PvdA, which has had a rough time nationally, expressed relief that the party managed to minimise its losses, but their results at the 2009 elections were already considered historically bad. The Socialist Party (SP) gained a seat according to the exit poll, which predicted a turnout of 37 per cent (the same as the actual turnout in 2009).

The big winner, D66, is traditionally a very pro-European party that advocates far-reaching European integration. Its predicted victory, coupled with losses for the anti-EU and anti-immigrant PVV, indicate that the anti-Europe movement has stalled, according to analysts.

However, most Dutch parties’ campaigns were negative towards the EU and not all have lost. In addition, in the last couple of months D66 has polled well nationally and PVV has come under intense scrutiny after recent anti-immigrant remarks by Wilders.

Meanwhile the CDA’s success may be explained by the fact it has a relatively older voter base – one that traditionally shows up at the polls.

Two other parties – the Party for the Animals (PvdD) and the 50PLUS party (whose lead candidate, Toine Manders, is currently a VVD MEP in the ALDE Group) – are also set to win seats, meaning eleven Dutch parties would be represented in the new parliament.

The official results will be published on Sunday, following the closure of polls across Europe.

Burson-Marsteller Netherlands public affairs team, The Hague

Exit poll (Ipsos for NOS, Dutch public broadcasting system) Turnout: 37%
Current group Party/list name Seats forecast +/- (2009) Vote share
ALDE Democrats 66 (D66) 4 +1 15.6%
EPP Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) 4 -1 15.2%
ALDE People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) 3 12.3%
NI Party for Freedom (PVV) 3 -1 12.2%
GUE/NGL Socialist Party (SP) 3 +1 10.0%
S&D Labour Party (PvdA) 3 9.4%
ECREFD ChristianUnion (CU) / Reformed Political Party (SGP) 2 7.8%
G/EFA GreenLeft (GL) 2 -1 7.3%
Party for the Animals (PvdD) 1 +1 4.2%
50PLUS 1 +1 4.2%