NETHERLANDS
Parliamentary Chamber: Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1989

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Chamber:
  Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  6 September 1989


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in the Second Chamber of the States-General following premature dissolution of this body. General elections had previously been held in May 1986 and where therefore not due until May 1990.


Background and outcome of elections:

  The 1989 general elections were called on a premature basis in early May 1989 after the Liberal Party (VVD) – which, together with the Christian-Democratic Appeal (CDA), formed the ruling centre-right coalition Government headed by Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers (CDA) – abandoned its confidence in the Cabinet due to a difference of opinion about a section of the scheme to finance the National Environment Plan.

Tax cuts, income policy and social benefits formed the core of the campaign debate between Netherlands’ three main parties – CDA, the Labour Party (PvdA) and VVD – as they promised high-spending programmes based on the country’s economic growth while also pledging themselves to further reduction of the budget deficit. Except for VVD, the parties committed themselves to the above-mentioned Plan.

The outcome of the elections was characterized as a victory for the "political centre," as the CDA retained its 54 seats and the other major parties incurred losses. These seats were picked up primarily by Democrats’ 66 and Groen Links (Green Left), a new party comprising three older groups. The overall results meant that the "old coalition" still had the absolute majority in the Second Chamber (76 seats). But this was considered too slight and, on 2 November, the popular Mr. Lubbers – Prime Minister since 1982 – reached agreement with the Labour Party on formation of a new, centre-left coalition; PvdA leader Wim Kok became Deputy Prime Minister. The new Cabinet was sworn in on 7 November.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (6 September 1989): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 11,100,509
Voters 8,891,508 (80.1%)

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Christian-Democratic Appeal (CDA) 3,141,157 35.3
Labour Party (PvdA) 2,833,266 31.9
People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) (Liberals) 1,296,049 14.6
Democrats ‘66 (D66) 700,863 7.9
Green Left (Groen Links) 361,274 4.1
State Reform Party (SGP) 166,662 1.9
Reformed Political Association (GPV) 109,570 1.2
Reformed Political Federation (RPF) 85,225 1.0
Centre Democrats 81,215 0.9

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Christian-Democratic Appeal (CDA) 54 =
Labour Party (PvdA) 49 -3
People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) (Liberals) 22 -5
Democrats ‘66 (D66) 12 +3
Green Left (Groen Links) 6 +6*
State Reform Party (SGP) 3 =
Reformed Political Association (GPV) 2 +1
Reformed Political Federation (RPF) 1 =
Centre Democrats 1 +1

Comments:
  * New party comprised of groups which together won three seats at the previous (1986) general elections.

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 118
Women: 32


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Copyright 1989 Inter-Parliamentary Union