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Why do most communication professionals vote for the social-liberal party?

With a voter turnout of over 80%, the 2017 national elections of 15 March remain a hot topic in the Netherlands. (source: RTLnieuws). They were much debated here at Wisse Kommunikatie too.

Social-liberal party D66 turns out to be the favourite party of communication professionals in the Netherlands (Source: CommunicatieOnline). Other parties that attracted many votes were the conservative-liberal VVD and progressive, left-wing party Groenlinks. The voting behaviour of the consultants at Wisse Kommunikatie did not diverge significantly from that of communication professionals in general. Although a number of colleagues were still undecided, due to a number of difficult choices about kilometre tax, care allowance or the usefulness of casting a strategic vote, D66, GroenLinks and the VVD received most of the votes here too. But why this preference among communication professionals?

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While it is impossible for me to identify the exact underlying reason without extensive research or substantive political knowledge, I can provide a short general analysis of the characteristics of D66 and compare them to those of the average communication professional.

The progressive and hip image of D66 (source: VOX), for example, may well be a good match with the progressive attitudes of most communication professionals. Staying current and being responsive to developments are an indispensable part of the communication business, especially in PR and social media. Most communication professionals like trying out hip tools and gadgets and enjoy working for start-ups.

Another similarity is the centre-left and liberal nature of D66 and of communication professionals in general. Communication professionals are creative and have previously been described as ‘idealists’ by Dutch trade magazine CommunicatieOnline. I think these traits correspond with a party that is at least partly left-leaning. Communication professionals also have strong personal opinions, at least those at Wisse Kommunikatie do, which ties in with the liberal nature of D66. 

Further exploration of the political preferences of communication professionals would require more extensive research. Communication professionals can rest assured, however: D66, the VVD and possibly GroenLinks will probably be part of the new Cabinet.

(Our colleague Margaux Smeets also wrote a blog about the Dutch national elections, analysing the use of social media during the 2017 elections). 

Hanneke van Heijster

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