Campaign Update (7 March)

A quiet start to the weekend, with mainly spot fires in the headlines. For example, Don Ceder, the number four on the ChristienUnie list (and thus almost certain to be elected) called for the five-day cooling-off period for women seeking an abortion to be applied even in the case of a pregnancy conceived through rape. This was in response to a recent motion which passed the Tweede Kamer by a huge margin, calling for the cooling-off period to be abolished entirely (the CU voted against). While this is an issue that is strongly felt on both sides of the equation – D66 and GroenLinks were furious at Ceder’s comments – in the wider political context this is a cry in the dark: the cooling-off period will go; it’s just a matter of how soon this can be carried out.

PvdA lead candidate Lilianne Ploemen has decided it’s time to take the VVD and CDA to task, accusing them of treating the Netherlands as though it were a multinational corporation, with a focus on winners and losers, profits and debts. Instead, she said, in a speech from her home city of Maastricht, the PvdA would govern on the basis of fairness and unity. The PvdA is set to gain a few seats according to the latest polls, but it needs a game changer if it has any chance of being more than a minor player in the next set of coalition negotiations.

Given that tomorrow is Sunday and I don’t expect much news, I’ll break down the latest state of the polls and take a look at some of the recent trends instead.