Pushed by national politics or pulled by localism? Voting for independent local parties in the Netherlands

Simon Otjes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
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This study examines why citizens in the Netherlands vote for independent local parties. These are parties that run in municipal council elections, but do not run in elections at higher levels. This article examines a number of expectations: namely that voters vote for these parties out dissatisfaction with established parties, that they do so because they have a 'localist' political orientation or that they do so because their own national party is not running in the municipal elections. More support is found for the idea that voters vote for local parties because they are pushed away by national parties (either because they do not participate in some municipalities or because voters distrust them) than for the idea that voters vote for local parties for positive reasons, such as a localist political orientation. This article examines two surveys concerning voting behaviour in the 2014 Dutch municipal elections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-328
Number of pages24
JournalLocal Government Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Independent local parties
  • voting behaviour
  • the Netherlands
  • political trust

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