PvdA: most stable large party in the past

Of the largest parties in the Dutch political arena, the PvdA (social democrats) have had the most stable support in the past. This is the outcome of an analysis of general election results in the Netherlands since 1918, the first year in which the Netherlands had universal male suffrage. Together, the three pre-war parties that merged to form the PvdA after the second world war consistently received between 25 and 30 percent of the vote before 1940. PvdA first took part in a general election in 1946. Its share of votes has fluctuated between 24 and 34 percent since then.

Vote shares in elections for the Second Chamber, 1918-1998

CDA and VVD: ups and downs

Support for the Christian democratic parties dropped sharply in the course of the twentieth century. Up to the early sixties the parties that together form the CDA (Christian Democrats) constantly claimed about half of the vote. At the end of the sixties and beginning of the seventies the share dropped from fifty to thirty percent. In the nineties it dwindled further to about twenty percent.

Whereas the Christian democrats saw their support nearly halved, after the war the liberals grew strongly. The VVD (liberal democrats) and its predecessors received 10 percent of the vote up to the seventies. In the course of the seventies they doubled this to around twenty percent.

Joop de Beer and Pieter Korving