The Provinces

Below is a breakdown of the provincial parliaments. The only direct link these have with the national parliament is that the members of the provincial parliaments elect the 75 Senators in the Eerste Kamer.

(Population numbers are from 2014 for province, 2015 for the cities, rounded to the nearest thousand.)

DRENTHE

Population: 489,000
Capital: Assen (67,000)
Largest city: Emmen (108,000)

(41 seats)

VVD: 7
PvdA: 7
CDA: 6
PVV: 5
SP: 5
D66: 4
ChristenUnie: 3
GroenLinks: 2
50Plus: 1
Sterk Lokaal: 1

Sterk Lokaal is a regional party — its name translates to “Strong Locally”. You can safely assume that any party with “lokaal” in the title is a regional party. The governing coalition from 2011-2015 was PvdA and the VVD. It is now VVD/PvdA/CDA/CU due to both the VVD and PvdA losing seats at the election (-2 and -5, respectively).

FLEVOLAND

Population: 400,000
Capital: Lelystad (76,000)
Largest city: Almere (197,000)

(41 seats)

VVD: 7
PVV: 6
CDA: 5
SP: 5
D66: 4
PvdA: 3
ChristenUnie: 3
50Plus: 2
GroenLinks: 2
Partij voor de Dieren: 2
SGP: 2

Here, the coalition spans the spectrum with VVD/CDA/SP/D66 hoping to stick together until the next elections in 2019.

FRIESLAND

Population: 646,000
Capital: Leeuwarden (108,000)
Largest city: Leeuwarden

(43 seats)

CDA: 9
PvdA: 7
VVD: 5
SP: 5
Fryske Nasjonale Partij: 4
PVV: 4
ChristenUnie: 3
D66: 3
GroenLinks: 1
Partij voor de Dieren: 1
50Plus: 1

As you may have guessed, the Fryske Nasjonale Party means Friesian National Party. It advocates for an independent Friesland. The current coalition is an usual mix of CDA/VVD/SP/Friesian National Party.

GRONINGEN

Population: 583,000
Capital: Groningen (200,000)
Largest city: Groningen

(43 seats)

SP: 8
PvdA: 6
CDA: 5
D66: 4
VVD: 4
ChristenUnie: 4
PVV: 3
GroenLinks: 3
Groninger Belang: 3
Partij voor de Dieren: 2
Partij voor het Noorden: 1

Groninger Belang (Groninger Interests) and the Partij voor het Noorden (Party for the North) are regional parties, but the Partij voor het Noorden occasionally runs in the other northern provinces of Friesland and Drenthe. The current coalition is SP/CDA/D66/GroenLinks/ChristenUnie.

GELDERLAND

Population: 2,020,000
Capital: Arnhem (153,000)
Largest city: Nijmegen (171,000)

(55 seats)

VVD: 9
CDA: 9
D66: 7
SP: 6
PvdA: 6
PVV: 5
ChristenUnie: 4
SGP: 3
GroenLinks: 3
Partij voor de Dieren : 2
50Plus: 1

In this province, the governing coalition of VVD/CDA/D66/PvdA held on to their majority despite losses by the PvdA (these three seats were effectively gained by D66), and so decided to try for another term.

LIMBURG

Population: 1,120,000
Capital: Maastricht (122,000)
Largest city: Maastricht

(47 seats)

CDA: 11
PVV: 9
SP: 8
VVD: 5
D66: 4
PvdA: 4
GroenLinks: 2
50Plus: 1
Partij voor de Dieren: 1
Volkspartij Limburg: 1
Lokaal-Limburg: 1

Any party with the province name in its name is always going to be a local/regional one. In 2011, Limburg was the only province where the PVV was included in the governing coalition (along with CDA and VVD). However, this configuration fell apart within a year, and the PVV was replaced by the PvdA. The 2015 election results meant that D66 and SP had to be added to this line-up if it wanted to continue, so Limburg is one of two provinces (the other being Groningen) to have five parties in its governing coalition.

NOORD-BRABANT

Population: 2,479,000
Capital: ‘s-Hertogenbosch [Den Bosch] (151,000)
Largest city:
Eindhoven (224,000)

(55 seats)

VVD: 10
CDA: 9
SP: 9
PVV: 7
D66: 7
PvdA: 4
GroenLinks: 3
50Plus: 2
Partij voor de Dieren: 2
ChristenUnie / SGP: 1
Lokaal Brabant: 1

Noord-Brabant is a very Catholic province, which is why the ChristenUnie and SGP have to work together on a joint list in order to have a chance of winning at least one seat between them. The VVD/SP/D66/PvdA coalition is continuing for another term.

NOORD-HOLLAND

Population: 2,741,000
Capital: Haarlem (157,000)
Largest city: Amsterdam (825,000)

(55 seats)

VVD: 11
D66: 10
PvdA: 7
PVV: 6
SP: 6
CDA: 5
GroenLinks: 4
Partij voor de Dieren: 3
50Plus: 1
ChristenUnie/SGP: 1
Ouderenpartij Noord-Holland: 1

The Ouderenpartij translates as “Seniors Party”. It has been in Noord-Holland since 1995, pre-dating 50Plus. This is another one of those occasions where the ChristenUnie and SGP combine to form a joint list. Noord-Holland takes in major cities like Amsterdam, which are overwhelmingly non-religious. The current coalition of VVD/D66/PvdA/CDA is a continuation of the one which governed from 2011-2015.

OVERIJSSEL

Population: 1,140,000
Capital: Zwolle (124,000)
Largest city: Enschede (158,000)

(47 seats)

CDA: 11
VVD: 6
PvdA: 5
SP: 5
D66: 5
PVV: 5
ChristenUnie: 4
SGP: 2
GroenLinks: 2
50Plus: 1
Partij voor de Dieren : 1

The current coalition is a centre-right mix of CDA/VVD/D66/ChristenUnie.

UTRECHT

Population: 1,254,000
Capital: Utrecht (335,000)
Largest city: Utrecht

(49 seats)

VVD: 9
D66: 9
CDA: 6
PvdA: 5
PVV: 4
SP: 4
GroenLinks: 4
ChristenUnie: 3
Partij voor de Dieren: 2
SGP: 2
50Plus: 1

Another example of a coalition which retained its majority and decided to continue for a second term. This one is VVD/CDA/D66/GroenLinks.

ZEELAND

Population: 381,000
Capital: Middelburg (48,000)
Largest city: Terneuzen (55,000)

(39 seats)

CDA: 6
VVD: 6
SGP: 6
SP: 4
PVV: 4
PvdA: 4
D66: 3
ChristenUnie: 2
Zeeland Lokaal: 1
Partij voor Zeeland: 1
GroenLinks: 1
50Plus: 1

Yet another example where the governing parties opted to continue for another term. In this case, CDA/VVD/SGP/PvdA make up the predominantly centre-right coalition.

ZUID-HOLLAND

Population: 3,577,000
Capital: ‘s-Gravenhage [Den Haag / The Hague] (515,000)
Largest city: Rotterdam (625,000)

(55 seats)

VVD: 10
PVV: 8
D66: 7
CDA: 7
PvdA: 5
SP: 5
SGP: 3
ChristenUnie: 3
GroenLinks: 3
Partij voor de Dieren: 2
50Plus: 2

The left/right coalition of VVD/CDA/D66/SP of 2011-2015 retained its majority and opted to continue in this formation.