Exit polls show big wins for Forum: D66, CDA and SP big losers

Photo: DutchNews.nl
Photo: DutchNews.nl

The ruling VVD is set to remain the biggest party in the senate with 12 out of 75 seats  but nationalist newcomer Forum voor Democratie is on target to take second place with 10, according to the first Ipsos exit poll following Wednesday’s provincial elections.

The exit poll, with a margin of error of one seat per party, puts the current coalition on 31 seats, well short of the 38 needed to have a majority in the upper house of parliament.

The poll shows that Forum, the Labour party (PvdA) and GroenLinks would all have sufficient seats in the senate to help the coalition to a majority on controversial issues. Backing for the anti-Islam PVV has fallen sharply and the party would take six seats in the senate, down from the nine it currently holds.

The senate will be elected in May by the 570 members of the 12 provincial councils who were voted into power today.


In Zuid-Holland, which includes Rotterdam and The Hague and is a traditional far right stronghold, FvD would be the biggest party with 10 seats on the provincial council, one more than the VVD, according to the exit poll.  Support for Geert Wilders PVV has plunged in the province, from eight to four seats.

All four coalition parties lost support, particularly D66 and the CDA, but GroenLinks, Denk and the pro-animal PvdD all made gains. The exit poll has a margin of error of one seat, broadcaster NOS said.

In Noord-Brabant, a rural province where much of the Netherlands’ pig industry is concentrated, turnout was up from 43% in 2015 to 50% this year.

According to the NOS exit poll, the VVD would retain its leading position with 10 seats and Forum would be on a par with the CDA with eight seats on the provincial council. The PVV would lose three of its seven seats and support for the SP also plunged.

There is a similar picture in Gelderland, where Forum emerges as the third party with seven seats behind the VVD and CDA who both are on target to win eight.

In Groningen, however, the SP retains its leading position, while losing two seats. Labour and GroenLinks would both have four seats on the provincial council, as would newcomer Forum.

The nationalist party opposes the government’s plan to stop extracting Groningen gas, which has been a major generator of jobs and wealth in the province.

The first real result came in shortly after 9.30pm on the Wadden Sea island of Schiermonnikoog, where turnout was 68%. The Labour party (PvdA) added support on the island to take 18% of the vote. The VVD and CDA lost votes and Forum debuted with 11% of the vote, just ahead of GroenLinks, whose support more than doubled.

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