Dutch Elections: Coalition Government May Lose Majority Due To Carbon Taxes

  • Date: 18/03/19
  • NL Times

On Wednesday the Netherlands will elect the members of the Provincial States, who in turn will determine the composition of the Dutch Senate. The expectation is that the coalition government will lose its current majority in the Senate.

The latest poll by Maurice de Hond shows right-wing party FvD gaining massive support compared to the votes the party got in the 2017 parliamentary election. Ruling party VVD, on the other hand, is losing support. The Provincial States elections are on Wednesday, March 20th. 

In the parliamentary election, the FVD got 2 parliamentary seats. If that election was held again today, the party would get 18 seats, according to the poll. The VVD would see its seats drop from 33 to 22. That puts only a two seat difference between the two parties.

According to De Hond, this is partly due to the calculations of the government’s climate agreement, and the government’s response thereto. The environmental assessment agency PBL and central planning office CPB calculated that the government’s goal of 48.7 megatons less CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 will likely not be reached by the plans in the climate agreement. They also calculated that Dutch households will lose an average of 1.3 percent of purchasing power by 2030 through these plans, with low income households being hit the hardest. And that industry is not doing enough to reduce emissions.

In response the government announced that it will lower energy taxes for citizens, and implement a CO2 tax on companies,among other things.

As a result, an increasing number of VVD voters now say they will vote FvD. According to De Hond, many VVD voters feel that the VVD is now implementing GroenLinks policy, while they themselves are skeptical about climate change and therefore believe that there should be less focus on reducing CO2 emissions. 

Other coalition parties CDA and D66 also lost support in recent weeks, though gained some back over the past week. If the parliamentary election was held again today, D66 would drop from 19 parliamentary seats to 11, and the CDA from 19 to 10. The fourth government party, ChristenUnie, is the only coalition party that hasn’t lost support since the parliamentary election last year, increasing from 5 seats to 7. 

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