Exit polls show enormous gains for SP

22 November 2006

Exit polls show enormous gains for SP

At ten minutes to nine national broadcaster RTL publishes its exit polls. Gathered for the SP's election night celebration at the Melkweg in Amsterdam, the public holds its breath. RTL begin with the very small parties: EénNL (One Netherlands) wins one seat; the Party for Animals wins two, which draws applause from the crowd. The right-wing Christians of the SGP win two seats, as do the centrists of D66, which not long ago dwarfed the SP with a double-figure tally. The Green Left, for a long time the SP's rather bigger rival for the left vote, could manage only six, while the Christian Union – a much more progressive religious party than the SGP - grows to seven. More applause. Geert Wilders, a right-wing maverick MP who heads his own list, wins eight seats, which is greeted by groans. Then we move on to the big parties. The decline of the most right-wing of them, the 'Thatcherite' VVD, from twenty-eight seats to twenty is greeted with jubilation. And then – the SP has shot up from nine to thirty seats! The Melkweg goes crazy! The predictions for the PvdA (Labour Party), a decline from forty-two to thirty-four, and the CDA (Christian Democrats) down from forty-four to thirty-nine, are lost in the wave of joyful noise.

Great results!

Celebrity host Sjaak Bral invites SP Member of Parliament Agnes Kant on to the stage. “This looks fantastic,” she says. "That so many people have expressed their confidence in the SP! We've earned it, but most of all, the people have earned it! Even if the real tally turns out to be lower, it couldn't be more impressive.”

That the SP's score could indeed be somewhat lower than the RTL exit polls showed is confirmed a few minutes later when the national news service NOS published its own figures giving the party twenty-four seats and the CDA forty-three. The real results, which are now beginning to trickle in, will show who was closest.

You are here