<p>Using data for Dutch municipal elections between 1998 and 2018, this paper finds two dominant trends: more political fragmentation and increasing electoral success of independent local parties. The relative size of local parties in the council rises from 25% in 1998 to 37% in 2018 and the relative share of their aldermen from 21% to 32%. When understanding the increasing share of local parties, the number of inhabitants, regional diversity, the share of elderly people and the election year dummies are important explanations. Looking at the changes after large decentralisations, also indications for a welfare hypothesis were found, if fixed effects are included. Following an empirical approach for AfD in local elections in German state of Lower Saxony, the impact of the anti-establishment Freedom Party on contesting local parties was analysed and this influence turned out to be small. This also gives an indication that Dutch local parties are becoming more established.</p>

doi.org/10.1080/03003930.2021.1938554, hdl.handle.net/1765/137184
Local Government Studies
Erasmus School of Economics

RHJM (Raymond) Gradus, E (Elbert) Dijkgraaf, & Tjerk Budding. (2021). Dutch municipal elections 1998-2018: what explains the electoral success of local parties?. Local Government Studies. doi:10.1080/03003930.2021.1938554