Dutch to release EU results on polling day
Unlike most other countries which will withhold their results, the Netherlands will release semi-final results after polling stations close on Thursday evening.
The Hague – Results of Thursday's Dutch vote in European elections will be released the same day, the government said, while most other states withhold theirs until an EU-sanctioned hour.
"After the ballot boxes close (on Thursday), semi-final results will be communicated by municipalities to the press," home affairs ministry spokesman Frank Wassenaar told AFP.
The Netherlands and Britain will be the first countries to vote in the 2009 European Parliament elections from Thursday to Sunday in the 27 member states of the European Union.
Dutch polling stations will open first, at 0530 GMT, and close at 1900 GMT.
Cyprus and Malta have also said they may release their results ahead 2000 GMT on Sunday, the official hour authorised by the EU for the first publication of election outcomes.
The Netherlands expects to have a good summary of its national vote by 1900 GMT on Thursday from exit polls and municipal counts. Final official results would be announced in parliament on 11 June after verification by the electoral commission.
Nearly 13 million voters are registered to elect 25 Dutch MPs for the parliament from 289 candidates on 17 party lists.
Voter participation, however, is not expected to exceed 40 percent. With the previous elections in 2004, the Dutch turnout was 39.1 percent.
One recent opinion poll has predicted the Christian Democratic (CDA) party of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende to get 14 percent of the vote, and its governing partner, the labour PvdA party, 12 percent.
The Party for Freedom of controversial far-right and anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders should get 12 percent of the vote, the liberal VVD 11 percent, and the Socialist Party 10 percent.
Some 18 percent of voters are said to be "undecided".
AFP / Expatica