Independent local political parties in the Netherlands

Marcel Boogers*, Gerrit Voerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


In the last 15 years, the Netherlands has witnessed the enormous growth of independent local parties and of their electoral support. In order to assess the success of independent locals in the Netherlands, this paper explores how independent local parties distinguish themselves ideologically, organisationally, and operationally. It presents the results of two online surveys of 1,800 independent and other local parties in the Netherlands. Compared to local party branches, independent local parties are more successful in performing the organisational, programmatic and nomination function of political parties. They are spearheading the change to a modern cadre party with politicians and a small number of active volunteers taking care of the party's rootedness in society. Furthermore, they enrich local politics with new political dividing lines, smoothing the entry of new demands, themes, and issues onto the political agenda. Finally, they are proving to be more resourceful in recruiting citizens to stand as candidates for municipal councillor ship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-90
Number of pages16
JournalLocal government studies
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 2 Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Elections
  • Local politics
  • Political parties
  • The Netherlands


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