Early turnout for European elections only 7 percent

An Amsterdam polling station for the European Parliament elections, 23 May 2019
An Amsterdam polling station for the European Parliament elections, 23 May 2019Photo: NL Times

Uptdate 2:00 p.m. - Updated the article to add the interim turnouts for the large Dutch cities

At 10:30 a.m. the turnout for the European Parliament elections in the Netherlands stood at 7 percent. That is just under the initial turnouts for the previous two European Parliament elections - in 2014 the first turnout was 8 percent, and in 2009 it was 9 percent, NOS reports.

The turnout for the European elections in the Netherlands is traditionally low, according to Statistics Netherlands. When the first European election was held in 1979, the Dutch turnout was 58.1 percent. That dropped to 30 percent in 1999, and climbed back to 37.3 percent in 2014. This is still below the EU average of 42.6 percent turnout. 

The turnout for the parliamentary election in 2017 was much higher at 81.9 percent. Though that was also the highest parliamentary election turnout since 1986. The initial turnout for the Provincial States election earlier this year also stood at 7 percent at 10:30 a.m., but eventually climbed to 57.9 percent. 

At 1:00 p.m. the turnout in Amsterdam stood at 10.5 percent, according to NU.nl. That is somewhat higher than the 1:00 p.m. turnout in the Dutch capital during the 2014 European elections, when the turnout stood at 8.7 percent. In 2014 a total of 35.7 percent of Amsterdam residents voted in the European elections.

In Rotterdam 11.7 percent of voters cast their vote by 1:00 p.m. In The Hague the turnout stood at 13.4 percent, in Eindhoven at 13 percent and in Groningen at 14.7 percent.

The total of 9.340 polling stations across the Netherlands are open until 9:00 p.m. on Thursday. The first exit poll is expected during the course of the evening. As other EU countries are only voting over the weekend, the election results are only expected on Sunday night or Monday morning.