Ethnic minority voters don’t feel represented in parliament


Voters with an ethnic minority background do not feel they are being properly represented in parliament, according to new research on Dutch voting habits.

People with what the Dutch call ‘non-western roots’ amount to around 10% of the electorate. The annual survey by I&O Research showed that 73% feel their interests are under-represented and 75% think there should be more MPs with a minority background.

More than four in 10 also say they have experienced discrimination, a figure which is higher among second-generation immigrants.

Traditionally, people with ethnic minority roots would vote for the Labour party (PvdA) but that is no longer the case, the researchers said.

People with Moroccan and Turkish ancestry were more likely to vote for Denk, a PvdA spin-off with a strong emphasis on minority rights. BIJ1, founded by television presenter Sylvana Simons, was popular with voters of Surinamese and African descent, while Asian Dutch voters who were surveyed were more likely to opt for right wing parties.

The Nationaal Kiezersonderzoek survey has been carried out since 1971. In total, 4,500 people took part in the research project this year.

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