Saba’s voter turnout lower than last 2 Dutch elections

Only one in four of Saba’s eligible voters showed up at the polls on Wednesday to vote in the Dutch parliamentary elec­tion, a reduction of about half since the last election in 2021.

Votes being counted at Sunny Valley Youth Center, one of Saba’s two polling stations. The other polling station was Eugenius Johnson Center in Windwardside. Photo by Sapphire Ramkissoon.

Exactly 240 persons cast their ballots at the island’s two polling stations, with six of them being invalid and four blank. There were 912 eligible voters, of whom sev­en were people from abroad with valid voting cards.

There were 446 valid votes in Saba from 907 eligible voters in the 2021 election. The turnout was 43% in the 2017 election, when 383 valid votes were cast.

Centrist party D66 claimed the top spot in Saba on Wednesday with 126 votes. Of these, 81 went to care­taker Dutch State Secretary of Kingdom Relations and Digitalisation Alexandra van Huffelen.

The second largest par­ty was left-wing alliance GroenLinks/PvdA with 35 votes, followed by right-wing liberal party VVD with 16 votes.

In the last election in 2021, the biggest party at Saba’s polls was Christian Dem­ocratic Appeal (CDA), with the lion’s share of the party’s 192 votes going to then-Dutch State Secretary of Home Affairs and King­dom Relations Raymond Knops.

Saba Commissioner Bruce Zagers publicly endorsed Knops a week before that vote, despite Saban Ly­sanne Charles standing as a candidate for left-wing par­ty Bij1. Charles garnered 105 votes at Saba’s polls. Although no endorsements were made by local parties Windward Islands People’s Movement (WIPM) and Party for Progress, Equality and Prosperity (PEP) this time around, both encour­aged residents to head to the polls.

Based on Wednesday’s results in the European Netherlands, the far-right Party for Freedom PVV has become the largest party in the Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament. The party has strong anti-migrant, anti-Islam and anti-European Union (EU) stances.

PVV leader Geert Wilders received five votes in Saba.

The Daily Herald.

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