🇳🇱 Politics and Elections in the Netherlands: General Election (Nov 22) (user search)
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Author Topic: 🇳🇱 Politics and Elections in the Netherlands: General Election (Nov 22)  (Read 66304 times)
freek
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« on: January 10, 2022, 12:03:59 PM »

As mentioned in the topic title: the next elections are soon. There will be local elections on March 16 for 333 municipal councils. Amsterdam and Weesp will both vote for the Amsterdam council as Weesp will merge into Amsterdam effective March 24.

There are 11 municipalities that won't participate: 8 councils were already elected in 2020 or 2021, due to municipal mergers. 3 more municipalities will merge into the new Voorne aan Zee municipality end of 2022, elections for that council will be held in November.

There are some Covid related measures in place for the elections. Face masks are mandatory, and there will be an early voting opportunity in a limited number of polling stations on March 14&15. Early voting may become permanent in the future. There is no option anymore to vote by mail.

Regarding participation of national parties, not much will change for the more established parties. There may be some more joint GroenLinks/PvdA lists, while ChristenUnie is going the opposite way, and ditching the SGP in some municipalities. Otherwise, participation is dependent on finding candidates. This has become an issue for national and local parties alike.

The exception to the rule is the SP. It will participate in a significantly lower number of municipalities as in 2018. The party has been in decline for years now. It has always had high demands for candidates and local party branches. The party doesn't shy away from withholding permission to branches to participate in the elections, even when the local party participated in the previous one. Party members are aging, or were purged because of communist sympathies.

Of the newer national parties, PVV intends to participate in 30 municipalities (2018: 30), FvD in 50 (2018 Amsterdam only), PvdD in 30 (2018: 17), DENK in 25-30 (14 in 2018), and 50PLUS probably in a similar number as the 20 in 2018.

Volt will participate in 10 municipalities (no participation in 2018), BIJ1 in 6 (2018 Amsterdam only). JA21 in Amsterdam only, BVNL (the party founded by Wybren van Haga, formerly FvD and VVD) will participate in some municipalities, and GO (formed by ex-FvD senator Henk Otten) in Amsterdam only.
BBB will not participate, but local parties may apply to become an official ally. Currently the number is less than 10, but it will likely increase to about 20.
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freek
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2022, 03:42:27 PM »

Presumably JA21 aren't running in Rotterdam because they will support Leefbaar? They have shared roots in LPF if I remember correctly.
Indeed, there is a LPF connection. Not really roots though.

Leefbaar Rotterdam was founded in 2001, a few months before LPF, and was led by Pim Fortuyn to a huge success in March 2002, 2 months before his assassination. There have never been formal links between both parties though, only some personal ones. Ronald Sørensen (founder of LR) was an LPF senator 2003-2007, and now supports JA21.
The most important link is JA21 leader Joost Eerdmans. He was the leader of Leefbaar Rotterdam since 2014, and earlier LPF MP between 2002 and 2006.

The only reason that JA21 participates in Amsterdam is co-leader Annabel Nanninga already being a councillor, elected on the FvD list im 2018.

PVV will not participate in Rotterdam either. It tried in 2018, but failed miserably, winning only one seat. Its lone councillor did not make much of an impression the past 4 years. He was completely isolated, and his speeches a collection of insults against his fellow councillors.
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freek
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2022, 07:09:41 PM »


- The eastern, very rural municipality of Tubbergen is usually the single best municipality for the CDA, both in local and in national elections. But the CDA mistreating Pieter Omtzigt (who is from the region) + farmers largely thinking the CDA betrayed them and now supporting BBB nationally has taken its toll. In a perfect storm, the CDA lost its absolute majority (29.3%, -32%).

I grew up there. Smiley.

Apart from the national issues you mentioned, CDA was the only party supporting a prestigious and expensive plan for a new town hall, which was not very popular with the population.

Another interesting result is the one from Reusel-de Mierden. It has a local council of 15 members, which means that Hare-Niemeyer/Largest remainder is used for seat apportionment.

Samenwerking (local party) 2571 votes (50.4%)
CDA 977
VVD 567
PvdA 536
D66 453

Based on this result, Samenwerking would just miss out on its 8th seat, ending up with 7 out of 15 seats with a majority of the votes. However, there is a rarely used clause in the electoral law that reapportions the last apportioned seat as an additional seat to Samenwerking. This deprives PvdA of its 2nd seat. Last time this clause was used was in the 1990s.
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freek
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2023, 12:49:54 PM »

When is the deadline for Omtzigt to put up or shut up about forming his own party?
August 28 is the last possible date for the registration of a party name. October 9 is the official day of candidacy, the entire list should be known by then and all the paperwork for participation in election (including declarations of support etc.) has to be finalized.

Ironically, all these good (hypothetical) polls for Omtzigt probably make his participation in all of the country less likely, as the risk gets higher. Many new parties just have 10 insiders and take the risk of making mistakes lower on the list, because these people won't get in anyway. But if Omtzigt participates, he really has to select 50 candidates who can actually enter parliament without scandals and problems - because most of them would probably get in. Also, interestingly, a new party can only have a list with a maximum of 50 candidates, while it isn't unthinkable he would win more - in this case, these seats would remain empty, they are not attributed to other parties.
Be aware that the maximum is per electoral district. Parties may have different candidates per district (or group of districts). Back in the days this was pretty normal, but since the maximum number of candidates was raised from 30 to 50 hardly any party uses this option anymore.
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freek
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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2023, 04:39:17 PM »
« Edited: August 04, 2023, 04:54:14 PM by freek »

or that he’ll be running only in Overijssel.

procedural question: doesn't the Netherlands have only a single nationwide constituency? What exactly does it entail, then, for a party list to only run in a single district? Only those voters will see them as an option on their ballot?

For that matter, how do district lists work when all the districts are part of one national constituency? If a party lists different candidates in each electoral district (and not just running the same list of candidates everywhere) how do the seats won by the party get allocated between the different candidate lists?

This is a good question and I cannot answer it. Come to think of it, our electoral system seems to provide for the possibility of having completely different lists in every electoral region - the only issue is that in this case, the candidates from more populous provinces would probably all be elected. No party does this, though. As far as I understand, seats are allocated based on the total tally of all votes cast for a party (that means on all lists of this party), then these seats are allocated first to candidates who crossed the threshold for preferential votes (as long as the party obtains enough seats to allocate those) and then to those lower on the list, depending on how many seats a party has left. But if party A runs a different list in every electoral region, obtains 8 seats and only has 3 candidates who reach the preferential threshold (let's say the number 1, 2 and 3 - somewhere), I would not know how the Electoral Council determines which numbers 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 can take up the seat, out of the 20 regions, provided that none have reached the preferential threshold. Maybe Freek or someone else can help us out here.

Yes, these are interesting questions, I'll try to answer them. It is an intricate system though.

Legally, there is not really a nationwide constituency, but in practice there is one. Every party has the option to have a different list in every district, to have identical lists in every district, or something in between. An identical list is a list that contains exactly the same candidates in exactly the same order. If you want to have an identical list in 19 districts, and the same list with an additional regional candidate in Limburg, you have 2 lists (1 for Limburg, 1 for the rest of the country). In case a party has non-identical lists (i.e. >1 list), in election law it is called a group of lists.
And indeed, you can have completely different candidates in every district. Most parties now opt to have an identical list in every district (a national list). Especially since the maximum number of candidates on a list was increased to 50, about 15 years ago. As a relic from the past (there used to be some administrative advantages in electoral law), some larger parties run lists that are identical except for the last 5 candidates.

After the elections, the seats need to be assigned to the lists. For a nationwide identical list, this is easy. In case there is a group of lists, at first the number of seats is calculated based on the total number of votes for the entire group. These are then assigned to the 2-20 lists within the group. This based on the number of votes for each of the lists and the number of seats for the entire group, using the largest remainder method.

The last step is to assign each of these seats to a candidate. At first, seats are assigned to the candidates that passed the preference vote barrier (25% of the electoral quota, so 0.1667% for the Second Chamber, about 17k votes). When a candidate is running on multiple lists within a group of lists, these votes are added up. Assigning starts with the candidate with the most votes. The candidate is then assigned a seat on a list that still has seats available, the list where he/she received the most votes.

If there are still seats available when all preference vote candidates have been assigned a seat, the remaining seats on each list are then assigned simultaneously, based on list order. In case a candidate is assigned a seat on multiple lists, he/she is elected on the list where the most preference votes were received. The other seats are then reassigned to next candidate on these lists, based on the order. In case of a large number of lists, that only have some variation at the bottom, this is a long iterative process. In case a large party runs 20 different lists, this often means that the top candidates are elected in the most populous district: 7 (Arnhem). The further down the list, it starts to become a lottery. It could be for example that a low-placed candidate from the North, running nationwide, ends up with a seat on a list in a different part of the country, because the northern lists had already run out of available seats.
Whenever an MP from one of these group of lists resigns, the successor will then be appointed from the same list where the MP was originally elected on.

edit: A simple example how this works in practice: Leefbaar Nederland in 2002 ran with 19 regional lists (district 20 did not exist back then). Candidate #1 was the same on every list, candidates and list order were completely different otherwise, although most candidates were running on multiple lists.

Leefbaar Nederland only won 2 seats. These were assigned to the 2 lists that received the most votes: Haarlem and Dordrecht. Candidate #1 was the only one to pass the preference vote barrier, and was elected on the list where he received the most votes: Haarlem. The other seat was then assigned to candidate #2 of the Dordrecht list.
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freek
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2023, 03:27:20 PM »

He says he has a manifesto, but no candidate list, but has until Oct 8th for it. More news to follow.

honest question: how will he possibly recruit and vet a full slate of serious candidates in just 49 days? has there been any speculation/discussion in Dutch media about this? Because he's basically starting from scratch here and it's not like he has an existing network of party activists to recruit from.

If he's genuine about playing the long game here, he could actually deliberately limit the size of the slate to only the most well-vetted people and accept that he might very well lose out on seats due to having too few candidates to fill them. Of course the (almost?) unheard of outcome of other parties getting those seats instead, could risk harming the democratic legitimacy of the incoming parliament and the political process in general. Then again, the LPF is still in vivid memory.

Indeed. Alternatively: run in a limited number of districts. That may even leave a number of spare candidates, in case of resignations for whatever reason.
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