BBB makes gains in the bigger cities but GroenLinks still dominates

Farmers' party BBB is the largest faction in all 12 provincial assemblies. Photo:
Farmers’ party BBB is likely to be the big winner in the elections. Photo:

The pro-farming BBB, which is on target to become the biggest party in most of the 12 Dutch provinces, made gains in the cities as well as the countryside, but its urban performance is not as dramatic as in rural areas.

In Amsterdam, for example, where some votes still remain to be counted, the party is set to take just 5% of the vote, with fellow newcomer Volt on a 7.5% share. GroenLinks remains the biggest party in the capital, when compared with four years ago.

GroenLinks is also the biggest party in Utrecht, Groningen, Eindhoven, Leiden, Delft, Maastricht, Arnhem and Rotterdam, while the VVD are the biggest in The Hague and Amstelveen.

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BBB is lower down the list in most of these cities, with between 6% and 8% support. However, the party has topped the polls in Almere and Leeuwarden.

Around 25% of Dutch voters live in urban areas.

Social geographer Josse de Voogd says the results show that the gulf between town and country is widening, and that BBB has capitalised on the frustrations of those living in the countryside.

‘The cities are moving more to the left, while the countryside is shifting to the right,’ he told broadcaster NOS, pointing out that Rotterdam where the Pim Fortuyn right-wing populist movement began 20 years ago has now shifted completely and gone over to GroenLinks.

The results for several cities have not yet been finalised because counting was halted overnight.

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