Sunday 18 August 2019

The Netherlands goes to the polls to vote for its 26 European MPs

The Netherlands goes to the polls on Thursday to elect the 26 Dutch members of the European parliament.

Polling stations opened at 7.30, although some opened overnight, and will close this evening at 9pm. The results will not be announced until Sunday, but there will be exit polls on Thursday evening, giving an indication of how the Netherlands voted.

Who to vote for? Our guide to the Dutch parties

Polling stations have been opened in a number of unusual places, including 63 at railway stations to catch commuters.

In total, 13.5 million people are eligible to vote in the Netherlands, including 60,000 EU nationals who have registered to take part here. Turnout is usually under 40%

All EU residents will vote over the next four days for candidates to fill the 751 seats in the European parliament. Only the Netherlands and Britain are voting on Thursday.

The Christian Democrats are currently the biggest grouping in Brussels, with the Dutch CDA contributing five seats. But pundits say they expect far right and nationalist groupings to make major gains this year.

In the Netherlands, newcomer and Nexit party Forum voor Democratie is neck and neck with the ruling pro-Europe VVD Liberals in the European election polls.

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