A prewar Dutch election was usually a cut-&-dried affair; the Catholics voted for the Catholic party, the Protestants voted for one of the two big Protestant parties, minor groups shared scattered votes, and that was that.
In last week's first postwar Dutch election, things were different. Premier Schermerhorn's new Party of Labor, cutting across religious lines, got its first test at the polls. It won 29 of the 100 seats in the lower House of the States-General.
Biggest vote was polled by the middle-of-the-road Catholic People's Party, which won 32 seats. Four Protestant parties were reduced to a total of 23 seats.
The conservative new Party of Liberty got only six seats.
The Communists, who won 3.35% of the votes in the last prewar election (1937), got 10.57% last week. In Amsterdam, 30% of the vote was Communist.
Holland's biggest political question was: Would the Catholics now join the Party of Labor (which had explicitly renounced Marxism) in a coalition government to continue the Schermerhorn government's state planning in Holland, or would they form a government with the remnants of the Protestant parties?