At least 459 women who were in an ‘unelectable’ position on their party’s candidate list in the recent local elections have won a seat after all, the Stem op een Vrouw campaign group said on Monday.
In 90% of cases, they won their seat at the expense of a man who had been placed higher on the list.
Stem op een Vrouw aims to encourage voters to use the preference voting system, so that more women win seats.
In total, 35% of councillors in the 433 local authority areas where elections took place are now female – compared with 30% before the vote – and this rises to 41% in the 70 biggest councils.
‘An increasing number of people are voting for women who were lower on the list, and both female candidates and voters are benefiting,’ said campaign group chairwoman Devika Partiman.
Although left wing voters are more likely to vote for a woman, the change is reflected across the political spectrum. ChristenUnie has 14 extra female councillors, Groenlinks 76 and the right wing conservative VVD, 37.
Although men remain in the clear majority in over 300 local authority areas, ‘there is change in the air,’ Partiman said.
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