Netherlands: "Today - Almere and the Hague, tomorrow - the entire Netherlands!"

Netherlands: "Today - Almere and the Hague, tomorrow - the entire Netherlands!"

A Dutch municipal elections round-up. 

Complete results here (NL).

Related stories:
* Netherlands: PVV leading in Almere, wins in the Hague
* Netherlands: Voting in headscarves against PVV


The losses of the PvdA (Labor) were limited, thanks to the support of immigrant voters, although those votes were less obvious than four years ago.

In Amsterdam the party remained the biggest, also because 74% of Moroccans voted for the social-democrats.  The number of immigrant councilors will nonetheless drop sharply.

This according to a study by the Amsterdam municipality and the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies at the University of Amsterdam.

Turnout among 'new' Dutch was comparable in Amsterdam to the number four years ago: from 46% among Turks to 26% among Surinamese and Antilleans.  Then immigrants voted almost anonymously (80%) for the PvdA, and GroenLinks (Greens) and SP (Socialists) got a very small share.

In 2010 the differences between ethnic groups were greater.  The PvdA got barely 53% among Surinamese and Antilleans.  Ghanaians (a big group in Amsterdam Zuidoost) expressed much more faith in PvdA (88%), and 75% of Amsterdam Moroccans voted for the social-democrats.

In particular, Turks, Surinamese and Antilleans moved relatively over more to GroenLinks (18%), D66 (14%) and SP (10%).  The VVD party got 5% among Surinamese and Antilleans, compared with 2002 in which they got 18% of the immigrant vote.

For years ago, a record number of immigrants entered Amsterdam politics.  The number of immigrant councilors will now drop sharply, from 10 to 4, according to researcher Van Heelsum.  There were few immigrant candidates in realistic positions on the party lists, and that means that immigrants won't be represented by the same percentage any more as their share in the population.

According to a study of one polling station in Almere it turns out that just over half of immigrant voters voted for PvdA.  In the Hague the PvdA has to thank the immigrant vote for her leading position, but despite the support of the immigrants, in Rotterdam the PvdA and Leefbaar Rotterdam are in a neck-to-neck race.


CDA (Christian Democrats), PvdA and SP are the big losers of the municipal elections Wednesday.  PVV And D66 achieved great victories and VVD and GroenLinks made modest ones.  The local parties form together the biggest block, with about a quarter of the votes.

The PvdA lost the most.  With about 93% of the votes counted, the PvdA got less than 16%.  Four years ago the party got about 23% in the 394 municipalities where elections were held this year.  The PvdA was then the biggest party nationally and is still the biggest percentage wise, but in the total number of seats it's passed by both the CDA and the VVD.  The local parties got together more than 2,300 seats, more than each national party.

Geert Wilders' PVV, which participated only in Almere and the Hague, finished exceptionally well.  In Almere the PVV is the biggest party, in the Hague it's in second place, after the PvdA. 

The PvdA still exceeded expectations, and can see an upward trend in the polls for the parliamentary elections.  The CDA lost 2%, but has the most seats after the local parties.

D66 showed on the municipal level what can be seen in the national poll.s  From under 3% after the elections in 2006, the party now has 8%.  Alexander Pechtold said in response to the national polls that they could get five times as many seats in parliament.

The losers tried to give a positive twist to the results.  A bad feeling could be damaging in the important parliamentary elections.

"The PvdA is back again," says PvdA leader Wouter Bos. "We were already declared dead and buried, but came back with fighting, self-confidence, humility and idealism."  PM and CDA leader Jan Peter Balkenende said the fall of his cabinet played a role for the voter, but that the loss could have been worse.

Agnes Kant of the SP also had explanations for their loss.  The SP suffered from people who didn't vote.  Femke Halsema of GroenLinks was in a winning mood after her modest victory in the municipal elections and national polls.  Mark Rutte (VVD) also saw his chances of getting into the government going up.  Besides the fact that he was almost the biggest party in the national polls, he got four additional seats in recent days.


Muslims in Almere shouldn't fear the PVV, said party leader Geert Wilders on Wednesday.  "If they abide by the laws, they're equal to everybody else and have no reason to be afraid."

He said the elections day was a fantastic day for the PVV.  The PVV leader said he hopes that the other parties in Almere won't exclude the PVV.  "The voters has spoken.  People should take democracy seriously."

Raymond de Roon, head of the PVV in Almere, will conduct the coalition talks.  Wilders says he is not concerned.  "We should wait and see which parties want to go together with us."

De Roon thanks his voters.  "I promise them more security and less Islam in the city."


In Almere the PVV got 21.6% of the votes (9 seats), and the PvdA 17.6% (8 seats).  In the Hague the PVV got second place (8 seats), following the PvdA (10 seats).

The PvdA and CDA lost seats all over the country, while Rotterdam turned out to be 'Florida on the Maas'.  Leefbaar Rotterdam demands a recount.  After counting 96% of the votes it turned out that the party got the same number of seats as the PvdA.  Both parties have 14 seats.  In past years the PvdA was the biggest party in Rotterdam.

The recount is necessary, says Leefbaar Rotterdam, because things had gone wrong in several polling stations.  Leader Marco Pastors says that members of the polling station commitees helped in the voting and in filling out authorization forms.  Pastors said he wouldn't be surprised if the PvdA recruited votes this way.

A spokesperson for mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said that first the remaining 4% votes would be counties.  Aboutaleb will catch up with what exactly happened in the voting stations, but the spokesperson said a recount is not an issue at the moment.


The National Muslim Party (NMP) didn't get into any of the seven municipalities where it participated in the elections.  The results in Tilburg, Almere, Alkmaar, the Hague, Rotterdam, Woerden and Noordoostpolder were the same as in Venlo in November.

NMP leader Henny Kreeft said that in next few days the party would evaluate what had gone wrong.  He said that they don't have an easy following, and it was possibly difficult to mobilize them to go vote.

The most important goal for the NMP is to close the gap between Muslims and non-Muslims.  The party wants Moroccan youth to be seen as Dutch youth, to end discrimination in job applications and to ensure cemeteries and care institutions for Muslims.


"Today - Almere and the Hague, tomorrow - the entire Netherlands!", Geert Wilders told his followers during a visit to Almere.

"When we decided about six month ago to participate in the elections in Almere and the Hague, we were laughed at.  'Ach, they won't succeed'.  The leftist press thought that it won't succeed.  We got curses and intimidation, but we are the biggest party."

Wilders also responded to SP leader Agnes Kant, who during a debate said that he was a threat to society.  "Agnes, many thanks!"

"Starting today the national campaign has begun.  What is possible in the Hague and Almere, is possible now all over the Netherlands.  This is the springboard to our big victory on June 9th"  [ie, the parliamentary elections].

A translation of the entire speech and more on the elections at Gates of Vienna.

Sources: Volkskrant, Telegraaf 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (Dutch)

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