Local parties big winners of municipal elections; VVD, CDA still biggest national parties
Local parties have again become by far the largest in the municipal elections. After 98.5 percent of votes had been counted, the locals got 36.4 percent of the votes, according to the preliminary results of ANP's Election Service. Converted, that is already 3,398 of the total 8,237 council seats up for grabs in 333 municipalities. The VVD and CDA lost support but are still the largest national parties.
Local parties were also the big winners in the 2018 municipal elections, winning about a third of the votes. A local party - which does not participate at the national level - has recently ruled in about three-quarters of Dutch municipalities. The percentage of voters who opt for local parties has grown for almost two decades. Local parties also won in large cities like Rotterdam and The Hague.
The VVD seems to be the largest again among the national parties. But the party got fewer votes. Mark Rutte's party currently stands at 11.5 percent of the votes. In 2018, it had more than 13 percent of the votes at the current standings.
VVD leader Mark Rutte dared to predict that the VVD would be the largest national party in the Dutch municipal councils early in the evening. And while the VVD is indeed in better shape than the CDA percentage-wise, the Christian Democrats will occupy more seats. This has to do with the number of votes required for a seat on the municipal council. That differs significantly per municipality, depending on their size.
As expected, the CDA lost votes, but much less than expected. In an initial response, Party leader Wopke Hoekstra said that the exit polls were "better than expected." His party goes from 13.4 percent of the votes four years ago to 11.2 percent in this standings. That makes the Christian Democrats the second largest national party.
The SP also suffered losses. The party had to deal with an internal feud with its youth movement. In Oss, the party's cradle, it is no longer the largest party. The Lokale partij Voor de Gemeenschap came out on top. SP leader Lilian Marijnissen said she was concerned about the low turnout.
Most other national parties remained reasonably stable. The PvdA made a small gain, especially in Amsterdam. Party for the animals PvdD, FvD, SGP, BIJ1, Volt, JA21, and Wybren van Haga's Belang van Nederland also posted small wins. The PVV, GroenLinks, ChristenUnie, and 50Plus suffer small losses. DENK remains the same.
Reporting by ANP