Dutch provincial elections, 2007
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politics and government of
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
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.
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%.
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.
|Political parties||2003||2003 *||2007||difference **|
|Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA)||222||169||151||-18|
|Labour Party (PvdA)||198||150||114||-36|
|People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD)||138||103||102||-1|
|Socialist Party (SP)||38||29||83||+54|
|Reformed Political Party (SGP)||19||13||13||0|
|Democrats 66 (D66)||31||20||9||-11|
|Party for the Animals (PvdD)||0||0||9||+9|
|Pim Fortuyn List (LPF)||17||10||0||-10|
|voters||47.6 %||47.6 %||46.4 %||-1.2 %|
- *) 2003 election calculated for the 2007 number of seats (564).
- **) The difference between 2007 and the recalculated 2003 seats.
- Combined list in two provinces (North Holland and North Brabant, also Friesland in 2003).
- Many linked to the Independent Senate Group (OSF).