On Sunday, just a few days after the farmers’ protests in Stroe and the nitrogen debate in The Hague, BBB is polling 18 seats in the House of Representatives. This makes the party virtually the second largest party in the Netherlands. She thinks the nitrogen debate and the long time she was speaking there were no harm to BBB foress Caroline van der Plas. “The almost two hours of speaking time that I got, thanks to the interruptions of almost all other parties, did not miss its effect,” says Van der Plas. β€œI originally had six minutes to speak.”

    In the latest poll, VVD drops with 13 seats to 21, and remains the largest party. But D66 and CDA are falling far down with a loss of 12 and 8 seats respectively. Of the coalition parties, only CU manages to gain an advantage: that party will gauge two more seats after the nitrogen week.

    During the debate, the parties took each other’s measurements on the nitrogen dossier. There was also a lot of crackling within the coalition. The debate lasted until the wee hours on Thursday, but at the bottom of the line it appears that the nitrogen targets still stand. “We have no choice,” said nitrogen minister Van der Wal. β€œIt is a terrible message, but it is necessary. We knew this moment would come.”