Four general elections: no long-term gain for any one party

In the last four elections for the Dutch Second Chamber not one single party managed to gain seats more than three times in a row. D66 (Democrats) was the only party which succeeded in gaining seats in three successive general elections. But this party incurred lost heavily in the 1998 election. In the last two general elections only VVD (Liberal Democrats) gained a substantial number of seats.

Seats in the Second Chamber, 1982-1998

An average 21 seats change hands

In the last four general elections, an average 21 seats changed party. The largest changes were in the 1994 election (following the Lubbers/Kok cabinet). No fewer than 34 seats fell to other parties. In that year the government coalition parties CDA (Christian Democrats) and PvdA (Social Democrats) together lost 32 seats (CDA 20, PvdA 12). Most of these went to D66 and VVD, which together gained 21 seats: 12 for D66 and 9 for VVD. Seven seats went to two new senior citizens' parties.

Seats in the Second Chamber: gains and losses, 1986-1998

After the 1998 general election 25 seats changed political colour. The government parties PvdA and VVD gained 15 seats. GroenLinks (Green Left) gained 6 seats. But the third government coalition party, D66 incurred a heavy loss (10 seats). The CDA also lost substantially (5 seats) and the senior citizens' parties lost all their seats.

Joop de Beer