Dutch elections: these three UU students are still undecided

'I might still change my vote on Wednesday'

Zwevende kiezers: Laura, Joppe en Casper. Foto: Tara van den Broek
Laura, Joppe and Casper. Photo: Tara van den Broek

Laura Heunks (24), just graduated with a Master's in Social, Health & Organisational Psychology. 

Undecided between Volt and D66.

Zwevende kiezers: Laura. Foto: Tara van den Broek

Like other recent graduates, Laura would like the Dutch government to do something about the housing crisis. "Now that I just finished my studies, I would like to live independently. But that's hard to do, and the current inflation rates don't help either." When it comes to housing, Volt and D66 are the parties that most appeal to her. But she is aware that the housing crisis can't be solved overnight. "There is no political party that will be able to completely put this right, especially if you take the environment into account as well." That's why she finds it hard to estimate what is realistic. "If a party says: 'Next year we will have solved the housing crisis', well, that's unbelievable."

The climate is another important factor guiding Laura's choice. She would like the Netherlands to have more nuclear power plants. "We're not going to make it with wind energy and solar panels alone. I think Groenlinks-PvdA's plans regarding the environment are unrealistic, but Volt does talk about nuclear power plants. But I'm not extremely pro-Europe. For example, I don't think a European army is necessary."

When Laura answered a quiz to find out which party best represents her views, Volt and D66 were the first on the list of results. But D66's manifesto doesn't say anything about nuclear energy either, and Laura is not fond of the party leader. "I don't think Rob Jetten represents us." But the idea of voting for an old, established party such as D66 appeals to her. "It's important to have political experience to be able to govern a country."  

Laura would prefer to vote for a party that is concerned with today's problems. "If we had taken action in the 1970s, maybe we could have avoided the climate crisis we're seeing now. But they just kept procrastinating and we have to draw up rules in a hurry, with all the consequences that come along with that." In addition, Laura wants to vote for a party that represents her point of view. "I am an optimistic person, so I assume that politicians have our best interests at heart and that they are doing their best. Voting strategically is not for me."


Joppe van Gent (24), Master's student in Political and Societal History

Undecided between VVD and GroenLinks-PvdA

Zwevende kiezers: Joppe. Foto: Tara van den Broek

Joppe wants to vote for a party that is aligned with his ideologies. "It's not that I think: 'If I vote for this party, I will be soon getting a student allowance from the government.' Instead, I take a look at how society is divided, where it's going and where we came from. If I'd only vote for what is convenient for me, I would vote for a left-wing party but perhaps my ideology and the history of society have more weight."

Joppe says that VVD is the party that best represents his ideology. "I fundamentally believe in the freedom of the individual and that the government should not stand in their way." Even so, he's considering casting a vote for GroenLinks-PvdA (Green Left/Workers Party). "In the past 10 years, there have been many issues that could have been avoided. VVD wasn't always a protagonist, but it was always involved." In his view, left-wing policies are needed now to tackle issues such as the long waiting lists to access mental health treatments or the childcare benefits scandal. In addition, the introduction of interest on student debt, a decision in which VVD also participated, is of utmost importance to him. 

Another reason why Joppe is having a hard time choosing is the fact that the Netherlands will get a new prime minister. He would like his vote to take that into account as well. "I would like to see the Netherlands have its first female prime minister, which would be a reason to vote for VVD." What's more, he finds that a prime minister should be knowledgeable. "I would never vote for BBB (the Farmer Citizen Movement), because Caroline van der Plas does not have good arguments to defend her opinions."


Casper Bruijning (22), Bachelor's student in Mathematics

Undecided between D66 and GroenLinks-PvdA. 

Zwevende kiezers: Casper. Foto: Tara van den Broek

“Personally, I've always been left-wing and progressive," says Casper. In his quiz, GroenLinks-PvdA, D66 and VVD came first in the results, which surprised him. "I don't like VVD' push and shove."

He is in favour of strict climate policy but, other than that, his vote is based on a party's attitude. "I think that GroenLinks-PvdA is idealistic compared to VVD, for example, which profiles itself as an entrepreneurial party. That doesn't speak to me." That's why he's somewhat cynical about quizzes to find out which party to vote for. "I would prefer to take a much broader one, even if it would take five hours. Then maybe the results would be closer to what you really think."

In addition, Casper's vote is based on how the parties are doing in the polls. He calls himself a tactical voter, which is necessary, in his view. "You always have to make concessions and nothing goes exactly according to the party's manifesto. That's why I prefer to look at what the possibilities are for a coalition."

Casper doesn't pay much attention to the actual promises made by the parties. "It remains to be seen whether the parties will keep their promises.” Another factor he takes into consideration when deciding his vote is what matters to other people. "Personally, I am not bothered by the fact that there isn't a lot of housing available because I got lucky and I found a place to live. But I do think it's important to find a solution for such a crisis."

D66 is a party that speaks to him. "I think Rob Jetten is a good politician and D66 has nuanced views." Sometimes he doubts about voting for GroenLinks-PvdA. "In an ideal world, I would combine the manifestos of both parties," says Casper. His ultimate choice will be based on how he feels. "Maybe there is going to be a news article about a certain party that will change my mind." That's why his final choice will only be made at the polling station. "I might still change my vote on Wednesday morning."