While different parties across the European Union are celebrating victories in the European Parliament elections, the biggest winner may be the election itself. The turnout for this election, which was held in all EU Member States between Thursday and Sunday, was the highest since 1979, the European Parliament said on Twitter.
Voter turnout in the Netherlands was trending higher for the 2019 European Parliamentary elections in comparison to five years ago, with 41.2 percent of eligible voters casting a ballot on Thursday. In the last European elections, some 37.3 percent of voters went to the polls, according to exit polling by Ipsos and NOS.
This is still below the EU average of 42.6 percent voter turnout. Voter turnout in the Netherlands hovered around 37 percent in both 2010 and 2014.
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.
An exit poll for Wednesday's city-wide elections suggested that green party GroenLinks was the big winner in Amsterdam, with enough votes to nearly double their city council seats from 6 to 11. Centrist party D66 and left-wing Labour party (PvdA) were the big losers of the night in the capital, each dropping five seats, according to the Ipsos/NOS exit poll.
Despite numerous actions to get young Dutch voters, between the ages of 18 and 24 years, to the polls, fewer voted in Wednesday's election than in the 2012 election. In 2012 the turnout for this group was 70 percent, on Wednesday it was 66 percent, according to a large survey by Ipsos. Official results will be released by the Dutch electoral council Kiesraad next week, Het Parool reports.
Roughly 81 percent of eligible voters showed up to cast a ballot in Wednesday's Dutch parliamentary election, according to exit polls conducted by Ipsos for broadcasters NOS and RTL. The voter turnout far outpaced the 2012 and 2010 election figures, when about 75 percent arrived at the polls leading to the two Mark Rutte cabinets.
By 3:45 p.m., research firm Ipsos indicated that about 43 percent of the Netherlands had cast their ballots, compared to 37 percent in 2012. Ipsos based their report on sampling data gathered at 43 polling places around the country. Meanwhile, the city of Hoorn, Noord-Holland, reported a 53-percent turnout at 5 p.m., with Utrecht reporting 50 percent just a half-hour earlier.
With 18 percent of the population having cast a ballot as of 1:30 p.m., voter turnout in the provincial elections was down two percent from four years ago. Turnout in 2011 was considered relatively high, when 56 percent of voters showed up at the polls.
When three art students decide to prank the Netherlands by jokingly offer residents the chance to trade their votes in the upcoming provincial election for physical goods, they were surprised by the number of people who actually took up the offer. People using their RuilJeStempas (literally, “trade your vote”) Facebook page offered up their votes an Apple iPhone charger, pieces of fruit, and cheap household goods, Asja Keeman tells NL Times.
The D66 received the most votes in the European elections, but the CDA won the most seats. The votes were close, but the D66 won with 15.4 percent, four seats, against 15 percent for CDA, five seats. This difference is explained by the CDA partnering up with ChristenUnie/SGP.
The European Parliament elections start today, with the Netherlands joining Great Britain as the first member states to vote. The two candidates drawing the most attention are Europhobes Geert Wilders of the PVV and Nigel Farage of UKIP.
Despite a somber prediction, voter-turnout at the municipal council elections on Wednesday was higher than expected with 53.8 percent of the population eligible to vote taking to the polling stations.