Rotterdam exit poll shows wins for Leefbaar, FvD and Volt; Nieuwegein, Zwolle show left-wing movement
The early projected results in the 2022 municipal elections showed a modest change could be in store on the Rotterdam city council. The first exit poll of the evening showed a big shift in the make-up of city council in Nieuwegein, and also a possible shift in power in Zwolle. Polls were conducted by Ipsos on behalf of NOS, and could differ from final vote counts.
In Rotterdam, the largest party was almost certainly to remain Leefbaar Rotterdam, which took an estimated 21.2 percent of the vote, up from 20.5 percent four years ago. That would allow the party to hold its 11 seats on the Rotterdam city council.
The city seems likely to have two parties tied as the second largest, with GroenLinks and D66 remaining unchanged with five seats. Labour and VVD were both projected to lose one seat bringing them level with Denk on four seats.
In their debut in the country’s second largest city, Forum voor Democratie looked like it picked up three seats. Volt also premiered in Rotterdam, and is expected to snatch two seats.
Imane Elfilali from the Volt in Rotterdam said, "The exit poll result is fantastic. We want to bring a new culture to council leadership."
"Having new parties in the council is good for democracy," said Ingrid van Wifferen from D66 in Rotterdam.
ChristenUnie looked like they will pick up their first seat each. CDA and SP were projected to lose a seat each, taking their total down to one. 50Plus was also expected to hold their only seat on the city council.
Rotterdam’s mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, told NOS that turnout in the city was just 38.9 percent. That was far lower than four years ago, when 46.7 percent voted. The Ipsos exit poll estimated turnout in the 2022 election at 39.7 percent. The city of 651,000 residents had seen low turnout figures throughout the day.
Nieuwegein exit poll shows big shift
GroenLinks is the apparent big winner in Nieuwegein, a municipality of about 65,000 people in Utrecht. The left-wing party doubled their vote total compared to four years ago. Their 18 percent of ballots is expected to match the VVD, which saw support fall a few percentage points. Both parties are expected to hold six seats on city council, an increase of three for the Greens, and a decrease of one for the VVD.
Labour (PvdA) also saw an increase of one seat to four, like D66. The local party Lokale Vernieuwing also saw a boost from two to three seats, and De Unie earned their only seat.
Other than the VVD, Christen Unie and Ieders Belang are expected to lose one seat, cutting their city council total in half. CDA and the Senioren Partij are expected to hold their three seats, and Stadspartij NUwegein is likely to hold its one seat.
Just under half of eligible voters cast a ballot in Nieuwegein, according to Ipsos.
Zwolle also shows shift to the left
GroenLinks also seemed to hold their strong level of support in Zwolle, as did ChristenUnie. The two parties are expected to keep their seven seats in the Overijssel city with around 18 percent of voter support. Tanja Roelfs of GroenLinks Zwolle said, “The victory was earned. We worked hard.”
D66 also was likely to become tied as the third largest party with five seats, an increase of one, putting them level with the VVD, whose tally was unchanged.
Left-wing party Partij voor de Dieren earned two seats according to the Ipsos and NOS poll. This is the party’s debut attempt to take their spot on the Zwolle city council. It is also the debut for Volt, which was likely to take one seat. Labour was likely to hold its four seats, and SP looked likely to keep its two seats.
The two city council losers were Swollwacht, which saw its support slashed in half to three seats. That would pull the party down from being the third largest party to being the fifth or sixth largest. "As a local party, we better do our best. Our commitment remains unabated," said Silvia Bruggenkamp of Swollwacht Zwolle. The CDA also seemed to lose one seat, taking its tally to three.
Over 64 percent of people in Zwolle voted in the election, according to polling data. That would be a slight improvement compared to 2018.