NETHERLANDS
Parliamentary Chamber: Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1994

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Chamber:
  Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  3 May 1994


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in the Second Chamber of the States-General following extension of its term by several months. General elections had previously been held in September 1989.


Background and outcome of elections:

  Key issues debated during the campaign included immigration and reform of the social security system. The popularity of the outgoing centre-left coalition Government, comprising the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and the Labour Party (PvDA), had gradually declined since the previous (September 1989) general elections, due to economic reasons such as its austerity policies that reduced spending particularly for social services and other federal benefits but failed to stem unemployment. Netherlands’ extensive welfare system was in fact regarded as contributing to the country’s growing budget deficit. The centrist CDA’s prospects were also damaged by the announcement of charismatic Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers – in office since 1982 – that he would leave the Government after the polling. The new CDA leader, Mr. Elco Brinkman, was considerably more conservative than his predecessor.

On polling day, the governing parties both incurred heavy losses which were picked up mainly by the centre-right Liberals and the leftist Democrats 66. Other winners included the new formed General League of the Elderly, which opposed governmental proposals to freeze pension payments, and the far-right Centre Democrats (CD), which campaigned on an anti-foreigner platform that attacked current immigration and asylum policies. The outcome reflected widespread protest against mainstream parties and left no one group clearly ahead in the Chamber, the social democrat PvDA led by Finance Minister Wim Kok passing CDA to emerge on top with a mere 37 seats.

In this context, negotiations on the formation of a government proved lengthy, taking a total of 111 days. Finally, on 22 August, Queen Beatrix swore in Mr. Kok as Prime Minister. He leads a Labour-Liberal-D66 coalition Cabinet.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (3 May 1994): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 11,462,085
Voters 8,974,813 (78.3%)

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group %
Labour Party (PvDA) 24.0
Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) 22.2
People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) (Liberals) 19.9
Democrats 66 (D66) 15.5
General League of the Elderly (AOV)* 4.5
Green Left 3.5
Centre Democrats (CD) 2.5
Reformed Political Federation (RPF) 1.8
State Reform Party (SGP) 1.7
Reformed Political Association (GPV) 1.3
Socialist Party (SP) 1.3
Others 1.8

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Labour Party (PvDA) 37 -12
Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) 34 -20
People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) (Liberals) 31 +9
Democrats 66 (D66) 24 +12
General League of the Elderly (AOV)* 7 +7
Green Left 5 -1
Centre Democrats (CD) 3 +2
Reformed Political Federation (RPF) 3 +2
State Reform Party (SGP) 2 -1
Reformed Political Association (GPV) 2 =
Socialist Party (SP) 2 +2
Others 0 =

Comments:
  * Comprises two different parties: (AOV) and Union 55+.

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 103
Women: 47


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Copyright 1994 Inter-Parliamentary Union