0859-Covid-19

Confidence in Prime Minister Rutte and his corona approach is declining.

Fewer people have confidence in Prime Minister Rutte and his approach to fighting the corona virus. His party, the VVD, has also steadily lost seats in the past two months. These are the first cracks in Rutte’s cast-iron reputation for months. This is evident from research by EenVandaag and the new seat survey by Ipsos and EenVandaag. Since the corona crisis, Rutte’s confidence has risen to rare heights. In the midst of the first wave of the corona crisis, 75 percent stood behind him as prime minister, where previously up to 40 percent supported him.

Lowest confidence in months
But the moment the number of corona infections has grown again for a long time, doubts about him also grow. Last month, at the end of June, 71 percent still thought he was doing well as Prime Minister of the Netherlands. That has now dropped to 64 percent. While a majority still supports him, that figure hasn’t been that low in months. This is partly due to the dissatisfaction with the EU agreement concluded last week, where hard-hit countries are being helped financially by the EU. Despite praise for Rutte’s critical attitude during the negotiations, most are not satisfied with the outcome. But the most frequently cited reason for the decline in confidence is the invisibility of the prime minister now that the corona virus has recovered in recent weeks. Many people are waiting for reassurance or new measures from the Prime Minister. Someone who has lost confidence says in the study: “As a manager of the corona crisis, he did well, but at this stage he leaves it at that.”

Coming back from vacation?
Both Prime Minister Rutte and Minister De Jonge, of Health, have a few weeks of vacation. Although many people (66 percent) believe that this should be possible after the intensive first half of the year, there is still discomfort with a large group. 43 percent believe that with the rising number of corona infections, at least one of them should return. “Of course I want to give them their holidays, but if the situation changes quickly, I still think they should give another press conference themselves. I think that they can properly indicate the severity of the crisis,” said one respondent. And another: “I think Grapperhaus is not doing as well as a straggler. De Jonge and Rutte should have coordinated their holidays better.” Half (51 percent) believe that Rutte and De Jonge should continue their holiday for the time being.

Support De Jonge is also declining
With declining confidence in Rutte, support for the government’s approach to the corona virus has also declined considerably, from 69 percent at the end of June to 59 percent now. This brings the share of people who support government action to the level of mid-March. Then the number of corona infections in the Netherlands also rose rapidly. Not only Prime Minister Rutte loses credit with the citizen. According to fewer people, De Jonge, Minister of Health, is also doing well. Last month was 66 percent behind his performance; now 55 percent of that remains. He is also accused of being little visible at the moment. In addition, some are increasingly under the impression that he lacks knowledge and plays a role in compensating for that lack of knowledge.

Steady loss to the VVD
The waning confidence in the prime minister is also not good for his party, the VVD. In two months, the party loses five seats and now comes to 39 seats, according to the new seat poll of Ipsos and EenVandaag. Rutte’s party thus seems to have passed the peak that it had built up since the corona crisis. The VVD rose no less than 17 seats in three months, with 44 seats in May as the high point. In recent months, the VVD has won voters from all kinds of different parties and it is now losing those seats again. However, the VVD remains by far the largest party. The distance to the second party, the CDA, is currently 22 seats. There is no question of a ‘De Jonge effect’ at that party this month. With 17 seats, the CDA remains the same size as a month ago.

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