Exit Poll: PvdA Loses Amsterdam and Rotterdam
THE HAGUE, 19/03/14 - Labour (PvdA) suffered heavy blows in the local elections on Wednesday. The party is expected to have been dethroned both in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
According to exit polls by public broadcaster NOS, the PvdA has likely been beaten in Amsterdam by centre-left D66. This would mean the first-ever defeat in the capital for PvdA since it was founded in 1946.
In Rotterdam, the right-wing Liveable Rotterdam (Leefbaar Rotterdam) is expected to have become the biggest party. Further, the Party for Freedom (PVV) is the presumed winner in The Hague, also dethroning the PvdA there.
The local parties combined attracted by far the most votes (29.4 percent). But D66 has emerged as the biggest party, with 12.8 percent of the vote, beating the conservatives (VVD) with 12.2 percent. The Christian democrats (CDA) also beat the PvdA: 10.9 percent versus 10.2 percent.
In the last local elections in 2010 VVD, PvdA and CDA each won more than 15 percent of the vote. They have primarily lost to local parties and D66, which gained 5.0 percentage points and 4.7 percentage points respectively, but also to the Socialist Party (SP) which won 4.1 percentage points, according to the initial estimations.
Nearly 12.5 million people were eligible to cast their vote up to 9.00 p.m. on Wednesday in the municipal council elections. Unlike the national elections, residents without Dutch nationality are also allowed to cast their vote.
According to the latest estimates, about 53 percent turned out, a new historic low. Although this was lower than in the last local elections in 2010 (54.1 percent) and sharply down from 58.3 percent in 2006, it was by far not as low as the 43 percent forecast beforehand by an Ipsos survey.
The overwhelming majority of the estimated 9,500 polling stations were open from 7.30 a.m. It was also possible to vote in and near around 50 Netherlands Rail (NS) stations. About half of these polling booths opened 1 to 2 hours earlier.
In The Hague and Tilburg, it was actually possible to vote from midnight. On the other hand, some polling stations in Rotterdam only opened at around 9.30 a.m. Because the supervisors had overslept, early voters were left standing in front of a closed door.
Conservative (VVD) Alderman Yuri Liebrand, in his municipality of Oldenzaal, voted for the CDA. He gave his vote to fellow-Alderman Frits Rorink, because he considers him a good administrator. Liebrand, who is not returning to politics, added that he could not find himself in large portions of the local VVD election programme.
A total of 8,570 seats were available in 380 municipalities. The municipal councils have 9 to 45 members. The biggest councils are to be found in municipalities with over 200,000 residents, while municipalities of less than 3,000 residents have nine seats to distribute.
In Utrecht, relatively many people voted for Els Borst. The former health minister (D66) was murdered last month. It had been too late to remove her name from the voting papers.
In Amsterdam, someone in a niqab was sent away. A polling station official suspected he was a man rather than the young woman whose passport he showed. The rules state someone in face-concealing clothes must show their face in a private room to an official, which the man, alleged to be an Iraqi, refused. He left.