Parliamentary Chamber: Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal


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  Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  6 May 1998

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in the Second Chamber of the States-General on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.

Background and outcome of elections:

  Since the previous (May 1994) general elections, the popularity of the governing coalition headed by Prime Minister Wim Kok (Labour Party - PvdA) had progressively grown. This was largely due to its impressive economic performance (reduction of unemployment and the budget deficit, steady growth) and, in this connection, successful pursuit of the «Dutch model» (job creation combined with wage freezes, trimming of the welfare state) together with a policy of fiscal restraint. As a result, opinion polls favored the ruling «purple» alliance which also comprised the center-right Liberals (VVD), headed by Mr. Frits Bolkestein, and the centrist D66, led by Ms. Els Borst. Altogether 22 parties were in the running.

Against this backdrop, the campaign itself was generally regarded as lacklustre, devoid of hotly debated issues. On polling day, the personal popularity of Mr. Kok was borne out by the fact that the center-left PvdA scored a clear victory, picking up eight additional seats. The VVD, gaining seven additional seats, replaced the opposition Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) in second place. The CDA, in power until the 1994 poll and led by Mr. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, dropped five seats to arrive at an all-time low. D66, for its part, lost 10 mandates, short of its coalition partners’ gains. In this context, Mr. Kok continued as Prime Minister and his new coalition Cabinet (PvdA, VVD, D66) was sworn in on 3 August.

Round no 1 (6 May 1998): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 11,800,000 (approx.)
Voters 73%

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group %
Labour Party (PvdA) 29.0
Liberal Party (VVD) 24.7
Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) 18.4
Democrats 66 (D66) 9.0
Green Left 7.3
Socialist Party (SP) 3.5
Reformed Political Federation (RPF) 2.0
State Reform Party (SGP) 1.8
Reformed Political Association (GPV) 1.3

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Labour Party (PvdA) 45 +8
Liberal Party (VVD) 38 +7
Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) 29 -5
Democrats 66 (D66) 14 -10
Green Left 11 +6
Socialist Party (SP) 5 +3
Reformed Political Federation (RPF) 3 =
State Reform Party (SGP) 3 +1
Reformed Political Association (GPV) 2 =

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 96
Women: 54

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Copyright © 1998 Inter-Parliamentary Union