Left-wing green party GroenLinks made major gains in Groningen in Wednesday’s local elections and, with 11 seats on the 45 seat council, the party has almost more than double the representation of its nearest rivals.
Labour (PvdA) is in second place in Groningen with six seats, with the former leading party, D66, down on five.
The Groningen vote was made necessary by the hotly-contested decision to merge the satellite town of Haren into Groningen city. Turnout was low, at 44%, well down on four years ago.
Nevertheless, the huge advances made by GroenLinks echo the situation elsewhere in the country last year, when the party took the lead in local votes in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Nijmegen.
‘This is unbelievable. We never thought we could have such a result,’ said local campaign leader Glimina Chakor.
In total some 700,000 people in 37 different local authority areas were eligible to vote in Wednesday’s elections, called eight months after the rest of the country because of boundary changes and local authority mergers.
In Haarlemermeer, which will incorporate Haarlemerliede and Spaarnwoude from next January, the VVD took seven seats, as did local interest party HAP. Turnout was low at below 35%.
The CDA emerged as the winner in the new local authority areas of Noardeast-Fryslan in Friesland and Beekdaelen in Limburg.
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