Campaign Update (17 March – Election Day)

This is it – election day. Over 9,000 opened at 7.30am local time, and will close at 9.00pm. At this time, the exit poll results will be announced, and then later the actual count will start trickling in from the smaller councils. Ipsos has already warned that the margin of error in this year’s exit polls may be larger than 2017, where GroenLinks was overestimated by two seats. As of 10.30am, turnout was at 30%, including postal ballots, which are already being counted.

The final lead candidates debate last night produced one moment which is being endlessly repeated in the media today: a clash between Geert Wilders (PVV) and Sigrid Kaag (D66) – the leaders of two parties who don’t see eye-to-eye on much. Wilders brought up Kaag’s visit to Iran during her tenure as the Foreign Minister (with a focus on trade and international development). While Kaag was in Iran, she wore a headscarf and bowed to Ayatollah Khomeini. “That was treachery,” declared Wilders, highlighting how violently Iranian authorities cracked down on women who took off their headscarves in public in protest against the repressive regime. Kaag fought back, saying that the law required her to wear a headscarf, and that she there to advocate for regional stability and the security of Israel. “Traitor,” repeated Wilders several times, clearly looking to throw Kaag off course. It didn’t quite work, but no doubt the supporters of both PVV and D66 will be steeled to attend the polls as a result of this.

Here is the final Peilingwijzer alongside the 2017 results:

PARTY2017 RESULTFINAL PEILINGWIJZER
VVD3335
PVV2019
CDA1917
D661918
GroenLinks1410
SP1411
PvdA912
ChristenUnie56
PvdD55
50Plus41
SGP33
Denk532
FvD25
BBB1
JA212
Volt3

What’s next? I’ll be back in about eight hours for a live-tweeting session as the results come in. My Twitter feed will be visible on the homepage of this site, or you can look me up on Twitter itself: @dutchpoliticsEN

Then I’ll return with one more update here tomorrow after the dust has settled for a quick overview of the results, and then a longer, more considered follow-up over the weekend.

Happy election day!