Voter-turnout higher than expected

Despite a somber prediction, voter-turnout at the municipal council elections on Wednesday was higher than expected with 53.8 percent of the population eligible to vote taking to the polling stations. 

In 2010, voter-turnout was 53.9 percent, and in 2006 58.3 percent, the NOS reports. It is a historically low figure, almost equal to four years ago. Relatively, most people (85.3 percent) voted on Schiermonnikoog, an island in the Wadden chain. Urk, Roosendaal and Ameland also experienced more than 80 percent of residents exercising their rights.

In Schiedam, however, the residents were relatively least inclined to cast their ballots, at 42.6 percent. In Beverwijk, turnout was also low at 43.1 percent.

Per province, there was also a difference. In Zeeland, 58.6 percent went to the voting station. In Friesland 57.7 percent voted, which is an increase from four years ago. Noord-Brabant was the province with relatively lowest voter-turnout, with little over half (50.2 percent) voting. Turnout in 2010 was low in this province as well. Flevoland experienced the biggest drop in voter-turnout, from 57.1 percent to 52 percent.

Predictions earlier guessed at a voter-turnout of under 50 percent. This would have been the first time that less than half of those eligible to vote did so. So far, this didn't happen. Local elections are usually less participated in than Parliamentary elections, which in 2012 was 74.6 percent, a record low.