Wins and Losses in Local Elections
Last week, people across the Netherlands were allowed to vote in the council elections of the city or village they live in. Eligible voters included people with Dutch passports as well as certain foreigners that have lived in the Netherlands for more than five years.
Local elections usually take place on one day, but this year people were able to vote on three days - 14, 15 and 16 March - due to COVID-19. Although people had more time to vote than ever before, turnout has never been lower. Some observers blame it on the elections being overshadowed by international events, whereas others point towards voters' dissatisfaction with national politics. It is true that, if you look at the results of all local elections combined, the four parties that govern together nationally - the conservative-liberal VVD, the conservative-Christian democratic CDA, the social-Christian democratic ChristenUnie (CU) and the social-liberal D66 - have lost percentage points. This is also the case in Apeldoorn, although the losses were from negligible (VVD, CU) to manageable (D66) for all but one of the four parties (CDA).
The winners in Apeldoorn - i.e. the parties that have gained percentage points since the last election - were, among others, the green GroenLinks, the social-democratic PvdA and the animal-rights party Partij voor de Dieren. Newcomers in the city council are the far-right populist Forum Voor Democratie as well as the Apeldoorn-exclusive GB Apeldoorn. The social democratic PvdA-spinoff Denk, which focuses on voters with a migration background, received 1.7% of votes and therefore not enough to win a seat. In total, 14 parties have gained seats in Apeldoorn's city council. See the full results here.
At the moment, parties are meeting to discuss the forming of a new governing coalition, which will require 20 out of 39 seats. Whatever the result, Wittenborg is looking forward to working with the new coalition on moving Apeldoorn forward.
by James Wittenborg