High voter turnout expectedin high-stakes referendum
1 June 2005, AMSTERDAM — Voter turnout for the Dutch referendum on the EU Constitution was at 24 percent by 2pm on Wednesday, 9 percent more than the European Parliament (EP) elections last year.
1 June 2005
AMSTERDAM — Voter turnout for the Dutch referendum on the EU Constitution was at 24 percent by 2pm on Wednesday, 9 percent more than the European Parliament (EP) elections last year.
The high turnout figure was compiled by research bureau Interview/NSS at 23 polling booths. The voter turnout rate for the elections last year was 39.1 percent.
Utrecht City Council said a "considerable turnout" is expected for the referendum, which could determine the fate of the EU treaty. Based on a random test, it estimated turnout will be higher than the EP elections.
However, voters were also casting their ballots in two referendums in Utrecht on Wednesday: firstly for or against the EU constitution and a proposal to increase the number of Sundays shops are allowed to open.
The turnout for the referendum over the constitution in The Hague was estimated at 23.67 percent at 2pm, compared with 14.74 percent at the EP elections last year, the city council said.
In the Dutch capital Amsterdam, the turnout figure was 18 percent at midday, double the amount of voters who had shown up at the same time last year.
Polling booths will be open until 9pm, when the first exit polls are expected. Pre-referendum polls have indicated a majority of Dutch voters will reject the constitution.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news