Socialists now most popular party in Netherlands, support for Wilders’ PVV continues to slide

For the first time ever, the Dutch Socialist Party has emerged as the biggest party in a national weekly opinion poll. At the same time, support for Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party continues to dwindle. And Labour and the Christian Democrats – once the biggest parties – see their combined number of seats plummet to a mere 29.

The Socialist Party would now get 32 seats in parliament, according to a weekly survey conducted by Maurice de Hond. That is two more than last week and 17 more than the party’s actual number of MPs. The party led by Emile Roemer has been soaring in the polls since mid-December, picking up an additional seven seats.

Over the same period, Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam Freedom Party has lost seven seats. If elections were held now, the poll suggests, the party would win just 20 seats, its lowest figure since the government was installed in October 2010.

RNW, 22 January 2012