Dutch provincial elections, 2007

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Azure, billetty Or a lion with a coronet Or armed and langued Gules holding in his dexter paw a sword Argent hilted Or and in the sinister paw seven arrows Argent pointed and bound together Or. [The seven arrows stand for the seven provinces of the Union of Utrecht.] The shield is crowned with the (Dutch) royal crown and supported by two lions Or armed and langued gules. They stand on a scroll Azure with the text (Or) "Je Maintiendrai" (French for "I will maintain".)
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Netherlands

Provincial elections were held in the Netherlands, on March 7, 2007. The election also determined the members of the Senate, since the 564 members of the twelve States-Provincial elect its 75 members. This election took place on May 29, 2007.

Issues at stake[edit]

Only a few weeks before the provincial elections, a new cabinet has been installed, the fourth Balkenende cabinet, consisting of the CDA, PvdA and CU. The provincial elections will be the first test for this new cabinet. Since the provincial councils elect the members of the Senate, it is possible that the CDA, PvdA and CU will not obtain a majority in the Senate. Since the members of the Senate can reject new laws, the outcome of the provincial elections can seriously hamper the strength of the new cabinet.

Turnout[edit]

In recent years, the turnout for provincial elections were low, this year was no different. On 13:00, only 14% of the 12.1 million eligible voters had cast a vote. On 16:00, about 25% had cast a vote; of the larger cities, The Hague was on the low side with less than 20%, and Groningen at the high side with 29%.

Results[edit]

The Socialist Party (SP), ChristianUnion (CU) and Party for the Animals showed the largest gains, all continuing their successful spell from the 2006 general election. The CDA, PvdA, D66, the LPF and SGP showed the largest losses, while the VVD and GreenLeft only had a marginal loss. The current government of CDA, PvdA and CU are expected to hold on to a majority in the Senate (elections to be held in May), with 41 out of the 75 seats. Geert Wilders had already announced in January 2007 that his Party for Freedom would not take part in the elections, since it had not succeeded to be able to participate in all provinces. One important factor in comparing the 2003 and 2007 results is the fact that the number of members of each provincial legislature was lowered, from a maximum 73 to a maximum 55.

National[edit]

Provincial Legislatures
Party 2003 2003 * 2007 difference **
CDA 222 169 151 -18
PvdA 198 150 114 -36
VVD 138 103 102 -1
SP 38 29 83 +54
ChristianUnion 29 22 38 +16
GreenLeft 51 37 32 -5
SGP 21 14 13 -1
D66 31 20 9 -11
PvdD 0 0 9 +9
Fortuyn 17 10 0 -10
Regionalist Parties*** 19 10 13 +3
Totaal 764 564 564 0
Turnout 47,6 % 47,6 % 46,3 % -1,3 %
Notes

- *) 2003 election calculated for the 2007 number of seats (564).
- **) The difference between 2007 and the recalculated 2003 seats. - ***) Many linked to the Independent Senate Group