The Parties

Below is a list of all the political parties currently represented in the Dutch parliament.

50Plus (50+) = 50 Plus (a reference to age)
Christen Democratisch Appel (CDA) = Christian Democrats
ChristenUnie (CU) = ChristianUnion
Democraten ’66 (D66) = Democrats
Denk = Think
Forum voor Democratie (FvD) = Forum for Democracy
GroenLinks (GL) = GreenLeft
Onafhankelijke Senaats Fractie (OSF) = Independent Senate Group
Partij voor de Arbeid (PvdA) = Party for Labour
Partij voor de Dieren (PvdD) = Party for the Animals
Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV) = Party for Freedom
Staatkundig Gereformeerd Partij (SGP) = Political Calvinist Party
Socialistisch Partij (SP) = Socialist Party

The question of where these parties sit on the political spectrum is a tricky one, because Dutch politics traditionally does not fall neatly along a left-right axis. Instead, a second axis needs to be added: one that runs from progressive to conservative. One of the more recent examples of this was a study by Dutch political scientist Andre Krouwel at around the time of the 2012 general election. This was used in a blog post by the London School of Economics here — it also does a good job of showing the rightwards drift across Dutch politics over the last decade.

Two new parties entered the Tweede Kamer in 2017: Denk and Forum voor Democratie. It’s probably too early to give them a definitive position, but at this stage I’d put Forum voor Democratie in the middle of the conservative-right quadrant, while Denk seems to be in the upper section of the conservative-left one.

Generally, I will use the party abbreviations or the full name depending on how they are usually referred to in Dutch media. For example, GroenLinks and ChristenUnie are very rarely referred to as GL and CU. On the flip side, the VVD and SGP are almost never referred to by their full names.

One thought on “The Parties

  1. Pingback: Welcome! | Dutch Politics in English

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