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The most recent election was the municipal election on 21 March The maximum parliamentary term is five years  and elections are generally held about four years after the previous one.
If municipal or provincial elections are already taking place in March of that year, the parliamentary election is postponed to May. Elections are planned for spring to ensure that a new cabinet is formed in time to present its plans on the most important day in the Dutch Parliament, Prinsjesdag.
The term of the next House can be shortened or prolonged by almost a year to ensure the next normal election again takes place in March or May. Municipal and provincial elections always take place every four years, in March; municipal elections always two years after a year divisible by four, and provincial elections one year after municipal elections.
Municipal councils and States-Provincial cannot be dissolved, so no snap elections can occur. An exception to the four-year term is made when two or more municipalities merge and a new election takes place for the merged municipality.
Senate elections also take place every four years, in May following the provincial elections. The Senate can be dissolved, and subsequently snap elections take place, but since the States-Provincial remain the same, this seldom occurs.
A Senate elected in a snap election sits out the remainder of its predecessor's term. Elections usually take place on Wednesdays, but the government can decide to change this to a Tuesday, Thursday or Friday if there are good reasons to do so e.
Elections for the European Parliament always take place on a Thursday. Every Dutch citizen who has reached the age of 18 is eligible to vote actief kiesrecht , or "active suffrage" or to stand for election as a member of the House of Representatives passief kiesrecht , or "passive suffrage".
A notable exception is municipal elections, in which persons younger than 18 can be elected, although they may not take their seat until their 18th birthday.
Also, for the municipal election one does not have to be Dutch; residents who are citizens of another EU country are also eligible to vote, as well as citizens of other countries who have lived legally in the Netherlands for five years.
Someone may be deprived of these rights if they are mentally incapable of making a reasoned choice or have lost their right to vote by court sentence.
Two weeks before an election all voters receive a card, which is the evidence that they are entitled to vote, and this card must be handed over at the polling-station before voting.
Voting is not compulsory. Compulsory voting was introduced along with universal suffrage in , but it was abolished in It is not necessary or even possible specifically to register as a voter for elections in the Netherlands: Dutch citizens who live abroad and have deregistered themselves as a Dutch resident are allowed to vote for the House of Representatives and for the European Parliament, but not for municipal or provincial elections.
They do need to register themselves as a voter. The House of Representatives is elected using an open party list system of proportional representation.
For all elections polling is organised on the basis of municipalities. In each municipality there are multiple voting stations, usually in communal buildings, such as churches, schools, and more recently, railway stations.
There are two different systems: With the oproepkaart , voters may vote, using this card, only at their nearest voting station, or if lost, their identity card.
With a stempas , users may vote at any station in their municipality, but must have the pass with them. If it is lost, a replacement can be requested, but only until a few days before the elections.
A stempas of different type can also be requested to vote in a different municipality. When arriving at a voting station, voters hand in their card or pass to one of the three attendants of the voting station, who checks the card, cancels it, issues ballot papers to the voter, and directs him or her to the polling-booth.
Dutch citizens living abroad are able to vote by registering in advance and then using a postal vote.
The results are counted by the municipality of The Hague and included in its own results. In , they could vote over the internet via the Rijnland Internet Election System , but in security concerns led to a law against Internet voting.
Voting is done in one of two ways: In , almost all municipalities planned to abandon pencil-and-paper voting. However, serious doubts were raised over the inviolability of the computers used from potential vote tampering and electronic eavesdropping.
The Netherlands does not elect mayors, as one of the few countries in Europe. Instead, they are appointed by the King. The Netherlands does not elect provincial governors, as one of the very few countries in Europe.
Polls close at For national elections, the first results usually come within the first five minutes after the polls are closed from the municipalities with the fewest inhabitants, Schiermonnikoog and Renswoude.
The final results are generally known around midnight and semi-officially announced the next morning, after which the seats are allocated.
However, recounting over the course of the following days sometimes throws up minor shifts in the allocation of seats. With seats, that means a quota of 70, votes per seat, the so-called Hare quota.
Since the election threshold is equal to the quota, that is also the number of votes required to get one seat in the House of Representatives.
However, the way residual seats are assigned, by using the D'Hondt method , a highest averages method , means that smaller parties are unlikely to get a residual seat, while larger parties have a bigger chance of getting one and may even get more than one.
Firstly, numbers of seats are always rounded down, meaning there are always residual seats and parties that did not reach the quota do not get any seats they do not take part in the following calculation.
Next, the number of votes is divided by the assigned seats plus one. The party with the highest resulting number then gets one extra seat.
Next, the process is repeated, with the party that got the extra seat participating again, albeit with a number one higher because they got an extra seat the calculation stays the same for the other parties, which got no extra seat.
But later on in the process, that party may get another extra seat. And since there are many parties in the House of Representatives, this is not unlikely to happen.
This has, however, never happened. The biggest difference between the first and second party was at the elections , the most dramatic elections in Dutch history, when especially the PvdA lost many votes to the Pim Fortuyn List LPF , which became second biggest after CDA with CDA, however, had received only Historically, parties had the option of forming an electoral alliance lijstverbinding , in which case they would participate in the above calculations as one party and therefore increase their chance of being assigned residual seats.
The allocation of those seats among the parties within a lijstverbinding was, however, done using the largest remainder method , which is more favourable toward smaller parties rather than the bigger ones if there is a considerable difference in size.
But the overall advantage was greatest for small parties of comparable size. The option of forming a lijstverbinding was abolished in After seats are allocated to the parties, candidates have to be assigned to the seats.
For the purpose of general elections, the Netherlands is divided into twenty electoral districts. Parties can present different lists in each district.
In theory, a party can place different candidates on each of the 20 different lists. However, it is usual that at least the candidate ranked first on the list is the same person throughout the country.
It is even quite common that parties use the same list in every district, or vary only the last five candidates per district. Usually these five candidates are locally well known politicians, parties hope to attract extra votes with these candidates.
However, because of their low position on the list, chances are low that these local candidates are elected. The first step in the process of assigning people to the seats is calculating how many seats each of the different lists of a party gets, by adding the number of votes on each of the different lists together.
If a party used the same list in more than one electoral district, these lists are seen as one list. Seat assignment to the different lists is done by using the largest remainder method.
These candidates are declared elected independent of the list order, and get one of the seats of the list where they received the most votes.
If more candidates are elected on a list than the list received seats, the candidate with the lowest total number of votes is transferred to the list where he had his second best result.
As a third step, the remaining seats if there are any are assigned to the remaining candidates, based on their order on the list. When candidates are elected on more than one list in this way, the candidate gets the seat on the list where he or she received the most votes.
This is continued until every seat is assigned. If one of these elected candidates later decides to leave parliament, then his seat is assigned to the next person on the list of the district he 'represents'.
An exception to the above exists in the form of lijstduwer "list pushers" , famous people former politicians, but also sports people who are put on the candidate list but will not accept a seat when they get enough votes for one.
During the municipal elections in professor Joop van Holsteyn criticised this practise, saying someone on a candidate list should also be a serious candidate.
This view is shared by other political scientists, but less so by politicians, who say that lijstduwers are on the list not to get elected but to show that they support that party and that the fact that they are at the bottom of the list makes it obvious they are not intended to get a seat.
Still, writer Ronald Giphart and skater Hilbert van der Duim got a municipal council seat, which Giphart refused to fill.
Professor Rudy Andeweg says this is close to fraud because the law requires someone on the candidate list to declare in writing to be willing to fill a seat.
An example from the municipality of Oude IJsselstreek. The city council elections of resulted a total of 17, valid votes.
The CDA party achieved 4, votes. As the largest party, the VVD took the lead in forming a coalition , and appointed Edith Schippers as scout verkenner for the formation on 16 March.
The members of the House of Representatives are elected by open list proportional representation. Although the country is divided into 20 regional constituencies for the purposes of regional electoral lists, it is functionally treated as a single constituency at the national level.
Seats are distributed at the national level on the basis of the electoral lists. Voters have the option of casting a preferential vote; candidates who receive at least 25 percent of the preferential vote on their list are automatically elected regardless of existing placement on their electoral list, with the remaining seats allocated to candidates according to their placement on electoral lists.
Persuant to articles C. The next general election is scheduled for 17 March , unless the chamber should be dissolved early. The table below lists parties currently represented in the House of Representatives.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Opinion polling for the next Dutch general election. Retrieved 28 October Lees hier wat er in staat en hoe er op werd gereageerd".
Elections and referendums in the Netherlands. Retrieved from " https: Articles with Dutch-language external links.
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