THE NETHERLANDS – Voting is taking place across the Netherlands to elect 12 new provincial councils and the members of 21 local water authorities. By 10.30, turnout was around 7%, which is in line with developments at the 2015 provincial elections, polling organisation Ipsos said. In total, some 13 million people are eligible to vote in today’s election, around half of whom are expected to vote.
There are some 10,000 polling stations nationwide, ranging from museums and railway stations to private homes. Senate The 570 members of the 12 provincial councils will go on to elect the 75 members of the senate in May, and all the polls show the cabinet is set to lose its majority in the upper house of parliament.
This has turned the provincial vote into a referendum on the government, pundits say, and national issues, such as climate change and immigration dominated the final televised debate between the main party leaders. In that debate the word province was used just a handful of times.
The polls opened at 7.30am and will close at 9pm. Voting in the provincial elections is open to Dutch nationals only but everyone who officially lives in the Netherlands is able to vote for the water boards. The provinces receive money from central government to manage nature areas, oversee provincial transport issues and promote the arts and culture.
The water boards job includes maintaining the water defences (such as dykes and sluice gates), ensuring that water levels remain constant and that waste water is properly purified.