Turnout is up as the Netherlands votes for provincial councils

The Poldersche mill has become a polling station for the day. Photo: Jeffrey Groenweg ANP
The Poldersche mill has become a polling station for the day. Photo: Jeffrey Groenweg ANP

Turnout in Wednesday’s provincial elections may well be higher than four years ago, according to market research group Ipsos which is monitoring voting numbers in key places on behalf of broadcaster NOS.

Shortly before 2pm, turnout was put at 20%, which is two percentage points higher than at the same time in 2019. And in Amsterdam, where turnout was just over 9.3% by 1pm four years ago, some 14.5% of voters had cast their ballots.

Voting is taking place for both the 12 provincial governments and 21 water boards – which everyone resident in the Netherlands can vote for.

The first polling stations opened their doors shortly after midnight, but most opened around 7.30am. The polls close at 9pm. There are some 10,000 locations nationwide where people can vote – ranging from churches and theatres to a windmill and Scheveningen pier.

In total, 13.3 million people can vote for the provincial councils and a further 900,000 non-Dutch nationals can vote for the water boards.

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Broadcaster NOS will publish its first exit poll at 9pm, as soon as the polls close, based on the results in Noord-Holland. Exit polls will follow for Overijssel and Noord-Brabant and at 10pm Ipsos will publish its first prediction for the make-up of the new senate. The senate will be chosen by provincial councillors in May.

Dutch News will report on the exit polls as they come in.

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