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Higher education voted green

If it was up to voters from the Dutch universities of applied sciences and research universities, D66 and GroenLinks would have more than half the seats in the Lower House.
By Rob Siebelink / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

Combined, the big three parties on the right (VVD – The People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy; PVV -The Freedom Party; and the CDA – Christian Democratic Appeal) received no more than 24 per cent of the vote, according to a survey done by the Erasmus Magazine for the Erasmus University in Rotterdam.

During the Lower House elections on 15 March, nearly every university of applied sciences and research university had at least one polling station. Because these locations were mainly used by students and university employees, they show a pretty clear picture of higher education’s political landscape.

A quick study of the election results at nine research universities and three universities of applied sciences shows that D66 (Democrats ‘66) and GroenLinks (GreenLeft) received most of the votes by far (31 and 25 per cent, respectively). Altogether, that would have amounted to 84 seats in the Lower House.

Worse

The conservative parties did a lot worse among university voters: they would have had no more than 38 seats based on votes cast at institutions of higher education. The VVD is fairly far behind with just 17 per cent, while the CDA (5), PVV (2), Forum for Democracy (2) and SGP (Reformed Political Party, 0.3) played no significant role. The socialists were not very popular either, as the Labour Party (4 per cent) and the Socialist Party (3) experienced.

There were also noticeable differences between the research universities and the universities of applied sciences. D66 and GroenLinks did better at research universities than in universities of applied sciences, whereas the VVD, SP, CDA, PVV, and especially Denk received fewer votes.

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