Young Dutch voters lean more to left-wing, green politics

Posters for the Netherlands' parliamentary elections, March 2017
Posters for the Netherlands' parliamentary elections, March 2017. (Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times)

If young Dutch voters between the ages of 18 and 35 years were the only ones to have their say in yesterday's parliamentary election, left-leaning and green parties would have been much better represented in the new Tweede Kamer, according to a survey done by broadcaster NOS.

Over three million of the Dutch voters are between the ages of 18 and 35 years. If they all voted, they could potentially fill 37.5 seats in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of parliament. How they all voted is impossible to say with 100 percent certainty, because votes are cast anonymously. But based on a survey, NOS was able to give an indication on how different the Tweede Kamer would look if only the young voters had a say.

The preliminary Tweede Kamer, based on real votes cast by the entire population, stand as such:

  1. VVD 33 seats
  2. PVV 20 seats
  3. CDA 19 seats
  4. D66 19 seats
  5. GroenLinks 14 seats
  6. SP 14 seats
  7. PvdA 9 seats
  8. ChristenUnie and SGP 8 seats
  9. Others 14 seats

If only the about 2 million people between the ages of 25 and 34 years voted, the VVD would still be the biggest, but left-leaning D66 and left-wing green party GroenLinks would have done much better. And far-right populist PVV loses a significant chunk of support.

The Tweede Kamer according to 25 to 34 year olds:

  1. VVD 27 seats
  2. D66 23 seats
  3. GroenLinks 20 seats
  4. PVV 15 seats
  5. ChristenUnie and SGP 13 seats
  6. CDA 12 seats
  7. SP 10 seats
  8. PvdA 5 seats
  9. Others 25 seats

Remarkably the smaller Christian parties ChristenUnie and SGP gain support among these younger voters, while other Christian party CDA loses support. It is also noteworthy that the "other" parties, including PvdD, DENK and FvD, would make up a sixth of the Kamer if only the 25 to 34 year olds voted. 

According to NOS, this age group did make good use of their voting right - 82 percent voted,

If only the very young voters, age 18 to 24 years, voted, the shift would be even more significant. The D66 and GroenLinks come out the clear winners, while SP and PvdA continue to lose support. Only two thirds of this group actually voted.

The Tweede Kamer according to 18 to 24 year olds:

  1. D66 27 seats
  2. GroenLinks 26 seats
  3. VVD 24 seats
  4. CDA 18 seats
  5. PVV 18 seats
  6. SP 7 seats
  7. ChristenUnie and SGP 7 seats
  8. PvdA 3 seats
  9. Others 20 seats