Political party membership grows, but questions remain about FvD

A board for the 2021 elections. Photo: Remko de Waal
A board for the 2021 elections. Photo: Remko de Waal

Some 321,000 people in the Netherlands are members of a political party, or 2.4% of the electorate, according to new figures by the political party documentation centre at the University of Groningen.

The total is a 1.3% increase on 2020, the centre said.

The biggest party remains the far right Forum voor Democratie, which claims 45,322 members, a rise of 3.7% on 2020, although the researchers say there are reasons to doubt that figure.

For example ‘it is extremely unlikely’ than the 9,000 members who voted against Thierry Baudet as party leader because of links with racism and anti-Semitism have retained their membership, the researchers said.

The PvdA is the second biggest party with 41,000 members, followed by the Christian Democrats with 37,000. The right-wing Liberal VVD, currently far ahead of the rest in the polls, increased its membership by 4.7% last year, but is still ninth in the membership rankings.

D66 has gained the most new members, adding 8.7%, followed by GroenLinks which added 7.4%.

Geert Wilders’ far right PVV does not have a membership system and does not feature in the list.

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