The six leaders of the main parties in the Netherlands faced each other in Rotterdam, during a televised debate, reports the Guardian.
Frans Timmermans’ Green Left/Liberal Party would win 27 seats out of 150 if elections were held now, according to a new opinion poll. The same support also has the party at the base of the last four governments – the “People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy” of Dylan Yesilgöz-Zegerius, the “Guardian” reported.
However, the poll also showed an increase of six seats to 26 for Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam Freedom Party, which has campaigned on no confidence in the government and a “halt” on immigration. Support for popular centre-right MP Pieter Omzigt and his “New Social Contract” fell four places to 21 – although since the poll, Omzigt said he would run for prime minister, one of the uncertainties worrying voters.
During the debate, the six main party leaders, including Caroline van der Plas of the Farmers and Citizens Movement and D66 Liberal Democrat leader Rob Yetten, cut each other off and failed to agree on any topic except housing crisis.
The unfortunate plot unfolded as the new survey showed that a previous survey last week, which showed a rise in favor of the far-right Freedom Party, may have also boosted progressive votes for the Green Left.
Meanwhile, Timmermans campaigned for left-wing voters to support him instead of the smaller groups, “otherwise the parties will form a coalition on the right”. Published research by the polling department of broadcaster EenVandaag suggests that half of Timmermans’ supporters would vote for him.