Rupture or continuity? The Dutch go to the polls on Sept. 12 for early elections marked by the crisis. Liberal Prime Minister Mark Rutte seems well ahead, but on the left there’s tough competition to come up with an alternative. For the Dutch press this close vote risks prolonging the political crisis. The general election campaign of 12 September is still coming up with surprises. According to a survey published on September 3, the VVD party of outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte (Liberal) is still in the lead, expected to pick up 35 of the 150 seats in the National Assembly. Its main rival, though, seems to be not the rising star of the Socialist Party led by Emile Roemer (radical left), which had set the tone of the debate over the summer, but the Labour Party (PvdA) under Diederik Samsom.
A week after a televised debate of August 26, during which the socialist leader came across as a less impressive speaker than the Labour part head, NRC Handelsblad states that “A campaign often reaches a turning point. That moment has already come: it was the debate on RTL, which ended the duel between the VVD and SP. [Yet] the landscape of the campaign can still change dramatically, if the leaders make mistakes or come up with rabbits in the hat, or if an external event such as an acceleration of the euro crisis crops up.”
Full Article: Election suspense | Presseurop (English).