How did the northern Netherlands vote? Who are the biggest winners and losers? Here’s how election day went down in the municipalities in Groningen, Drenthe and Friesland with the most international residents.
This analysis is based on election coverage from Dagblad van het Noorden and the Leeuwarder Courant.
Emmen, one of the most populous municipalities in Drenthe, had 51.9 percent voter turnout. Local party Wakker Emmen, founded in 2009, lost four of the 15 seats they had won in 2014, but will remain the largest party. The PVV ran candidates in this municipality for the first time and won three seats. The Socialist Party went from zero seats in the council to three. The Labour Party is the second largest party in the council with seven seats and the Christian Democrats are third largest with five seats.
Assen had 55 percent voter turnout and the Christian Union dethroned the Labour Party as the largest in the municipality. But GroenLinks also made a big impression: in 2014, they won 4.3 percent of the vote, but in 2018, they got 12.8 percent and came in third place overall. The green party’s performance means a gain of three seats, bringing them to four in total in Assen. The senior citizen-focused party 50 Plus made their debut and won 9 percent of the vote. D66 got six percent fewer votes than they did in 2014, making them the sixth largest party in the council.
Noordenveld also saw local parties perform particularly well. Gemeentebelangen (Community Interest) received an impressive 36 percent of the vote: the party will have 9 of the 23 available seats in the council. Another local party, Groen Noordenveld, won 14.1 percent of the vote, beating out the Labour Party (11.9), the national green party GroenLinks (9.5) and the VVD (9.3)
Heerenveen had 55 percent voter turnout and the Dutch Labour Party (Partij voor de Arbeid, PvdA) received 18.4 percent of the votes. That translates into six seats on the municipal council, which is actually a loss for the party: in the 2013 council elections, the Labour Party won eight seats. Other national parties remain well represented in the council. The Christian Democrats (CDA) got 13.8 percent of the local votes and gained one additional council seat, the conservative-liberal VVD (the party of the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte) managed 14.3 percent and also managed one new seat. Leftwing green party, GroenLinks, gained two new seats in the council with nearly 10 percent of the vote. Local party GB Heerenveen (Gemeentebelangen Heerenveen – Community Interest Heerenveen) maintained the three seats they won five years ago.
Smallingerland had a slightly higher turnout – 61 percent – and local parties performed better than some of the establishment parties. ELP (Eérste Lokale Partij – First Local Party) won 19 percent of the vote, giving them four additional seats in the council and bringing their total number of zetels up to seven. Smallingerlands Belang (Smallingerland Interest) won an additional seat. The local parties’ gain was the national parties’ loss: the Labour Party, Christian Democrats, Christian Union and the Socialist Party all lost at least one seat. VVD and D66 maintained the same number of seats, and GroenLinks gained one new council seat.
Delfzijl had 49 percent voter turnout, and local party Fractie2014 remains the biggest party in the municipality with 16.7 percent of the vote. When they were founded in 2014, they tied with another local party, Lijst Stulp, for the most votes. This year, Lijst Stulp (14 percent) was bested by the Christian Union (14.7 percent). The right-wing populist Freedom Party (PVV) ran candidates in Delfzijl for the first time and came in eighth place out of 12 parties, gaining their first seat in the local council. GroenLinks also won their first seat this year. The Labour Party (4th place) and the VVD (5th place) lost two percent of their votes in comparison to 2014.
|No municipal council vote was held in the populous northern municipalities of Groningen, Hoogezand-Sappemeer and Leeuwarden because the borders of those municipalities are currently being (or were recently) redrawn. Leeuwarden underwent a merger in 2017 and held its council elections in November of last year. The city of Groningen will go to the polls on 21 November 2018.