D66 and GroenLinks are the clear local election favourites among international workers and expats in an online poll carried out by DutchNews.nl.
Both parties have between 23% and 24% of the expat vote, double the support of the next most popular party, the VVD, which is on 12%.
Support for D66 is unchanged from the last local elections in 2014 but backing for GroenLinks has more than doubled, in line with the growth in support for the party as a whole. Over 850 people took part in the DutchNews.nl poll.
‘Support for GroenLinks has never been so big in our pre-election polls,’ says Robin Pascoe, editor of DutchNews.nl. ‘But it is interesting to note that the voting pattern among internationals, who mainly live in the bigger cities, reflects that of Dutch city dwellers as well.’
Support for the PvdA is down slightly – from 12% to 9%, while the SP, fourth in 2014, has plunged in popularity from 11% to 5%.
Housing and the provision of affordable homes are by far the biggest issues facing the international community. Encouraging integration came in second, followed by the provision of local services. Just 17% said managing tourism is a major concern.
In Amsterdam (89,000 expat voters), The Hague (57,000) and Rotterdam (46,000) the support of the international community could make all the difference to the result in Wednesday’s vote.
The main political parties in the bigger cities have been making a real effort to attract the international vote and dozens have set up website sections and published information leaflets in English. In Eindhoven, for example, seven of the top eight parties have published information in English.
DutchNews.nl has set up a special election section featuring information about how to vote and the situation in 10 cities with the biggest international communities.
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