GroenLinks and D66 are equal in the polls as the largest parties in Amsterdam

The previous municipal elections in Amsterdam were in 2018.Image ANP

It will take six weeks before Amsterdam goes to the polls on March 16 and a lot can still happen until then. But as it looks in the polls, four parties have a chance to become the largest in the city. GroenLinks gets 16 percent of the vote, D66 gets 15 percent and the VVD and PvdA both get 11 percent.

Battle still fully open

This means that the battle to become the largest party in Amsterdam is still completely open, says Peter Kanne of I&O Research, the research agency that the polls did. Kanne: “We take into account a margin of error. This means that the larger parties can get 2 to 2.5 percent more or fewer votes. Statistically you can therefore not say that GroenLinks and D66 will break up.”

It is the second time in a short time that polls have been released around the municipal elections. Half January published Maurice de Hond still research in which D66 emerged as the largest, with 15 percent then too. The big loser from that poll, however, was GroenLinks, with 10 percent of the vote, while it had doubled in the previous elections in 2018.

Groot Wassink: ‘Encouraging’

Party leader Rutger Groot Wassink: “This poll is encouraging. Based on this, we are in good shape and together with D66 we will decide who will be the biggest.”

VVD and PvdA receive 11 percent of the vote in both polls. For VVD party leader Claire Martens, these are hopeful figures: “The fact that we continue to plot so stable is a good sign. It means that Amsterdam has a good liberal basis. We will continue to focus on that.”

Dissatisfied middle

The big newcomer is Volt in both De Hond and the latest poll. With 8 percent, it could become the fifth largest party in the city, accounting for 4 seats out of 45 on the council. Voters mainly praise the party’s ‘innovative character’, but that has less to do with the content, says researcher Kanne. “You have many right-wing populist parties. To disgruntled voters in the middle, this party radiates freshness that has not yet been tainted by government power.”

In Amsterdam, the sides on the flanks are also doing well. Bij1 is growing significantly compared to 2018 if elections were to be held now: it goes from 2 percent to 7 percent of the vote. A large part of the votes comes from voters who four years ago did not go to the polls at all. FvD and newcomer JA21 both receive 4 percent of the vote.

It now looks like the Party for the Elderly and the CDA (1 percent) will not return to the council after the elections, although that is not yet a foregone conclusion. Kanne: “For the voters, the elections have yet to start. Electoral compasses and voting pointers will be added, which will mean some shifting. A lot will happen in the coming weeks.”

The new research was commissioned by GroenLinks. Kanne emphasizes that this has no influence on the results. A total of 980 citizens of Amsterdam who were entitled to vote were asked for their preference, in the period from January 13 to January 24.

Fame of Amsterdam politicians
It is striking in the research that respondents in their explanations spontaneously mention few local party leaders as a reason for voting for the party. Only Marjolein Moorman (PvdA) is mentioned regularly, which may have to do with her fame through the documentary series classes.

At GroenLinks, Mayor Femke Halsema is still mentioned with some regularity, despite her independent role. The VVD is especially popular because of Prime Minister Mark Rutte and its national image.

Voters make their choice with a view to local problems, Kanne explains, but often reflect their political preference on the performance of those parties in the national arena. Kanne: “I didn’t get the impression that voters can really get a finger on what parties in Amsterdam politics have achieved in recent years.”

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