GroenLinks PvdA leader Frans Timmermans casts his vote for the election of Dutch members for the European Parliament, in Maastricht, the Netherlands, 06 June 2024. EPA-EFE/ROB ENGELAAR

News Vote 24

Dutch kick-off European Parliament elections

Most countries in the 27-nation European Union will vote on the last day of the contest, June 9.


Voters in the Netherlands are among the first to cast their ballots in the continent-wide European Parliament elections.

Kicking off at 7.30am on June 6, Dutch voters will have until 9pm to cast their ballot. Together with Estonia, they are the only ones able to vote so early in the elections.

Most countries in the 27-nation European Union will vote on the last day of the contest, June 9.

In total, 720 MEPs will be picked in what is the largest transnational election in the world.

The Dutch can choose between 20 parties, with 31 EP seats up for grabs.

While the country’s Freedom Party (PVV) led by Geert Wilders is set to do well according to the latest polls — with the group set to rise from zero seats to 8 — this looks set to be matched by the alliance of Greens and Socialists (Groen-Links and PvdA).

European elections are seen as less important than national by many Dutch, experts say, and those who are pro-European tend to be more inclined to go to the voting booth.

That would likely be to the detriment of the more Eurosceptic parties on the Right.

Yet, with the battle between farmers and European regulators having come to the fore recently there could be a shift in this pattern, giving a boost to the Right, if agricultural workers and their allies turn out en masse.

In 2019, turnout in the Netherlands stood at 41.9 per cent, almost 10 per cent lower than the EU average.

The next country in line to vote is Ireland on June 7, together with the Czech Republic, with polling stations in the latter set to only close on June 8.

The Italians, Latvians, Maltese and Slovaks will meanwhile see polls open on June 8, together with several French overseas territories. Italians can also vote on June 9.

Some 21 other Member States — as well as France’s remaining overseas territories — will cast their ballots on June 9. Belgium will also hold national and regional elections on the same day.

Voting is compulsory in four countries – Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece and Luxembourg — although abstainers do not usually face any penalties.

Some countries offer early voting systems, often reserved for people with reduced mobility or suffering serious illness.

Results are then expected to begin trickling out from around 6:30pm CET on June 9 onwards, with a full EU-backed projection set to be released around 11pm.

Brussels Signal will be reporting the results live, with special midday election programming set to air on our YouTube channel from June 10 to June 14.

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