The surprising Dutch elections Of May 21st 1986

Date of publication: June 15, 1986

Company: NIPO


The votes of slightly over 9,1 million Dutchmen for 2 out of 27 parties turned out different from what the samples of all pre-election surveys had told the researchers. All interest had been focussed on whether the governing coalition would keep or loose its small majority. The nearest any Dutch institute approached the actual vote was 75 out of 150 parliamentary seats. The voters gave the coalition partners 81 seats. Although there had been indications of "hidden strength" of the Christian Democrat coalition partner, only an "electronic" NIPO-survey late on the eve of election day detected clear indications of a last minute-swing toward that party. (It caused joy and rising share prices on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange immediately after its publication very early on May 21st. Several of the "hidden strength"-data will be presented. Finally we discuss some of the problems caused by the increasing effects of television electioneering.

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