During the latest municipal council elections the local independent political parties, among which the so-called ‘‘Liveable’ parties gained one in every four valid votes cast, thus becoming the largest political movement on the local level. Especially in the provinces of Limburg and Noord-Brabant local political parties were well supported.
One in every five voters supported the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA). In the province of Overijssel, the percentage of people voting for the CDA was highest, whereas the lowest percentage of votes for the CDA was found in the province of Noord-Holland. The Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) gained 15.8 percent of the votes, the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) scored 15.6 percent. Most votes in favour of the PvdA were cast in the province of Groningen but the PvdA scored poorly in Noord-Brabant and Limburg. The VVD did well in Noord-Holland but was not very successful in Limburg.
Municipal councillors and aldermen
On 1 January 2003, there were 9,889 municipal councillors. Almost 25 percent are women. The ‘Liveable’ parties gained 334 seats, i.e. 3.4 percent of the total number of municipal councillors in the Netherlands.
The CDA negotiated the largest number of aldermen, although the CDA was outnumbered by local independent parties as far as councillors are concerned.
In the 489 Dutch municipalities on 1 January 2003, a total of 1,679 aldermen were appointed, of whom only 16 percent are women. The CDA was best represented to gain 30 percent of the seats, followed by the local independent parties with 23 percent, the PvdA with 18 percent and the VVD with 16 percent. The liveable parties, as part of the local independent parties, gained 34 seats, i.e. 2 percent of the total number of aldermen.
Mayors by political background
On 1 January 2003, almost 40 percent of the 489 mayors were members of the CDA, 30 percent were members of the PvdA and more than 20 percent were members of the VVD. In only two municipalities members of the local independent parties hold the office of mayor.
Nationwide, one in every five mayors are women. The percentage of female mayors who are members of the CDA is only 12, the corresponding percentage for the PvdA and the CDA is approximately twice as high.