Local elections held in six Dutch towns

18th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

Politicians from across the Netherlands see results of local elections as an indication for the March 2010 results.

The Netherlands – All eyes are on six towns in the Netherlands which go to the polls in early local elections on Wednesday.

The six towns of Venlo, Venray, Zuidplas, Peel en Maas, Oldambt and Horst aan de Maas, are but two percent of the Dutch electorate entitled to vote. However, political groups are eager to see what the results might imply for local elections in the rest of the Netherlands in March 2010.

The early elections are the result of changes in electoral boundaries due to come into force at the start of 2010.

With the three coalition parties trailing in national polls, these elections are also being closely monitored as a possible measure of how votes might swing in a general election.
Leaders of the major parties have therefore also been out on the campaign trail, with the media on their heels.

Votes will Wednesday vote using old-fashioned pencil and paper, due to concerns about the security of the voting computers used in recent years.

The polling station staff has been warned to look out for voters attempting to hand in more than two proxy votes.

On Tuesday, the police in Venlo investigated allegations that local people, particularly in the Turkish community, were being pressured to sign proxy voting forms but found no evidence of illegal activity.

Local elections may not be true reflections
It remained debatable whether these local elections were a true reflection of the national politics as not all political parties are represented. The far-right Freedom Party is not running in any of the local elections as they prefer to consolidate its efforts on national elections.

Recent polls have shown that the Freedom Party, which is increasingly as popular as senior coalition partner Christian Democrats, will garner 30 percent votes.

Venlo which is also the hometown of Freedom Party leader, Geert Wilders, has also been touted to win the elections.

However, according to de Volkskrant, voters are far more interested in the parties' position on a new road than the pension age.

The rest of the country goes to the polls to elect new local councils in March 2010.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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