Dutch 2023 Elections: A Guide for Internationals

| Leiden International Centre

While internationals won't have the opportunity to vote in the upcoming General Election on the 22nd, staying informed about the political landscape of the country you live in is crucial. Curious about the main political parties and the critical issues of the approaching elections? Then keep reading! 

Why is there an election? 

The current coalition government, led by Mark Rutte, has called for a snap parliamentary election due to the inability to reach a consensus on significant migration issues. As Mark Rutte has declared not to run for the office of Prime Minister as per the next elections, the upcoming elections will usher in a new Dutch Prime Minister after a tenure of 13 years. 

What do the polls indicate? 

Three parties – People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), the GroenLinks-PvdA (GL-PvdA) alliance, and the New Social Contract (NSC) are in contention for the lead in the polls. Following the weekly polls, the margins among them are relatively narrow. It is important to note that the Dutch political landscape, with up to 26 political parties to choose from, virtually always necessitates coalition governments, making post-election negotiations crucial in determining the final makeup of the government. 

Main concerns: Cost of living, housing crisis, immigration 

The Dutch buzzword characterising this election is ‘bestaanszekerheid,’ roughly translated to livelihood security. This reflects the pressing issues of inflation, housing shortages, immigration regulations, and income tax debates. 

Recent debates 

A focal point of contention for many parties is the primary stressor on ‘bestaanszekerheid.’ The far-right PVV leader claims that immigration is the main source of stress on the housing market, proposing increased financial costs related to migration. Parties like VVD, PVV, and the Farmer Citizen Movement (BBB) similarly advocate for stricter immigration policies, putting long-stay visas and the Netherlands’ golden visa for foreign investors at stake. There is a noticeable increase in focus on incoming migrant labor, as several parties express apprehension about heightening employer accountability concerning working conditions. On the other hand, left-wing parties are very positive about protecting the legal regime for refugees and asylum seekers as well as expressing further support for labour and knowledge migration. 

Calls for improved access to healthcare and healthcare benefits are also high on the agenda. NSC, a new political party formed by a former CDA leader, proposes tax reforms and increased allowances for low-income families. 

List of parties on the voting poll 

Here are some of the main political parties and their leaders: 

  • VVD (People's Party for Freedom and Democracy): Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius  

  • D66 (Democrats 66): Rob Jetten 

  • GL / PvdA (Green Left / Labour Party): Frans Timmermans 

  • PVV (Party for Freedom): Geert Wilders 

  • CDA (Christian Democratic Appeal): Henri Bontenbal 

  • SP (Socialist Party): Lilian Marijnissen 

  • PvdD (Party for the Animals): Esther Ouwehand 

  • FvD (Forum for Democracy): Thierry Baudet 

  • CU (Christian Union): Mirjam Bikker 

  • BBB (Famer-Citizen Movement): Caroline van der Plas 

  • SGP (Reformed Political Party): Chris Stoffer 

  • DENK (Political Movement Denk): Stephan van Baarle 

  • Volt: Laurens Dassen 

  • JA21: Joost Eerdmans 

  • BIJ1: Edson Olf 

Curious about your political alignment? 

Take the survey at StemWijzer to discover which political party aligns with your preferences based on a series of statements. Note that this page is in Dutch but can be translated in English through the Google Translate tab extension! 

Want to learn more? 

This is a constantly updated news story. Stay current with election news through our partner, DutchNews, where you can also find more information about every party’s manifesto.  

Curious to learn more about the general political system in the Netherlands?  

We have it all covered for you on our page.