Nationalist voters mainly older white men; young people vote democrat and green

A voter walking into a polling station in Amsterdam Oost, 20 March 2019
A voter walking into a polling station in Amsterdam Oost, 20 March 2019. (Photo: NL Times)

With the highest turnout in 30 years and a new party suddenly becoming the biggest in the Netherlands, the Provincial States election turned out to be an exciting one. The voters who brought nationalist, right-wing party from 0 to 12 seats in the Senate were mainly older, white men. While those who voted for GroenLinks, the other big winner in this election, were younger and highly educated, according to research by Ipsos and NOS.

FvD leader Thierry Baudet mainly appealed to voters between the ages of 35 and 64, with nearly half of FvD voters falling in this age group. A third of the people who voted FvD are over the age of 65. The nationalist party is also the party that reached the most men, with 64 percent of its voters being male. 29 percent of FvD voters are highly educated, 24 percent have a low education level. The rest are somewhere in between.

Ipsos also asked the voters why they voted FvD. 79 percent said they voted for the nationalist party to vote against the cabinet. The most prevalent reasons for this are the costs involved in climate measures, and immigration and integration. The FvD mainly stole voters from the other right wing parties. 31 percent of FvD voters voted for the PVV in the parliamentary election in 2017, 15 percent voted VVD then and 10 percent CDA. 18 percent voted FvD before, and 5 percent did not vote in the previous elections.

Green party GroenLinks appealed to nearly the same proportion of men and women, with 54 percent of GroenLinks voters being female and 46 percent being male. Most GroenLinks voters also fall between the ages of 35 and 64 years. 30 percent are below the age of 35 and 24 percent over the age of 65. The vast majority, 58 percent, of green voters are highly educated. 

For most parties, people between the ages of 35 and 64 were the largest part of their voters. This is not too surprising, as half of Dutch voters fall in this age group. A quarter of Dutch voters are between the ages of 18 and 34, and a quarter 65 years and older. The D66 is the only party who got a majority young voters, with 41 percent being under the age of 35. The CDA, PvdA and 50 Plus all had a majority elderly voters. 

Like in the previous Provincial States election in 2015 and the parliamentary election in 2017, more men than women voted on Wednesday - 55 percent men and 45 percent women. Most parties had a majority male voters. GroenLinks, animal party PvdD, 50Plus and Denk were the only parties to attract more female voters than male.  

Looking at education level, the middle- and higher educated are most represented in the majority of parties. The VVD, D66, GroenLinks and PvdD have a majority of highly educated voters. While the majority of PVV voters have a low level of education. 

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