Two opinion polls conducted on Friday show that majority of Dutch voters sees Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen, very likely to be the Labour Party's new leader, as the favourite to become the Netherlands' next prime minister.
The polls gave participants a choice between Mr Cohen, who is likely to replace Labour leader Wouter Bos, Christian Democrat leader and outgoing Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and far-right PVV leader Geert Wilders.
In the poll conducted by TV programme EenVandaag, 52 percent of those questioned supported Mr Cohen, 17 percent Mr Balkenende and 15 Mr Wilders. In the second poll, carried out by Maurice de Hond, Mr Cohen obtained 55 percent, Mr Balkenende 25 percent and Mr Wilders 17 percent.
Mr Bos' announcement that he is leaving politics to spend more time with his family has come as a complete surprise. Mr Cohen announced his candidacy shortly afterwards. His election as new Labour new leader seems virtually certain.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide