12th Apr 2021

Netherlands to release EU election results early

  • Exit polls will begin to give some idea of the make-up of the parliament as early as the evening of 4 June (Photo: EUobserver)

Despite EU officials' best efforts to maintain suspense about who has won the European elections until all European polling stations close on Sunday (7 June) evening, results will begin dribbling out as early as 4 June.

Under EU law it is illegal to announce official results until all EU voting ends at 10 p.m. Brussels time on Sunday, but the Netherlands - which together with the UK is the first EU member state to vote - intends to release preliminary results as soon as its polls close at 9 p.m. Brussels time on 4 June.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"There are different views on this matter," Ruben Brandveldt of the Dutch mission to the EU told EUobserver. "The European Commission is not happy because we will be releasing the results."

"But the article in question says that member states are not allowed to publish official results. In our view, this doesn't prevent the publication of preliminary results."

Mr Brandveldt said that the Hague and Brussels were currently in discussions over the matter, but the debate is likely to conclude after the end of poling in the country.

The commission for its part said it was unwilling to prejudge what the Netherlands would do ahead of the elections, "But the rules on this are really clear: member states cannot present official results before polling stations close," the commission's justice spokesman, Michele Cercone told EUobserver.

"If we see any breach in the Netherlands or elsewhere, we will follow up promptly," he added.

The Netherlands in the 2004 elections bucked the EU law and released its official results early, citing transparency imperatives.

The commission at the time declined to issue an official rebuke. But the Dutch move was seen then as now as harmful to EU attempts to engender a sense of common European identity by organising one big-bang election result.

The UK, also voting on 4 June, intends to abide by the EU law. But broadcast media are expected to publish exit polls within minutes of British polling stations closing, at around 11 p.m. Brussels time.

Despite a widely predicted low turnout, the British vote will be closely watched domestically to see whether the governing Labour Party is pushed into fourth place behind the opposition Conservatives, the centrist Liberal Democrats and the eurosceptic UK Independence Party.

A heavy beating in the EU election could accelerate the holding of a general election.

Ireland and the Czech Republic both vote on 5 June, although the latter holds the vote over two days, ending 6 June. National media are not expected to publish exit polls before the 7 June EU deadline however, according to the European Parliament's press service.

Cyprus, Italy, Latvia and Malta vote on 6 June, with Italy's vote also spread over two days. Exit polls are likely to come out in Cyprus at 7 p.m. Brussels time on 6 June. But the other three will keep results quiet.

On 7 June, when over three quarters of Europeans head to the voting booth, a rash of exit polls are expected to be released in the early evening - long before the 10 p.m. Brussels time official cut-off.

In Austria, the first polls will be released around 5 p.m Brussels time, while next door in Germany, exit estimates should be broadcast some time before 6 p.m.

Bulgarian exit polls are expected at around 6 p.m and in Greece shortly after 6 p.m. Hungary will broadcast results at 7 p.m. Romania meanwhile should see broadcasts around 8 p.m.


Four deaths after taking Russian Sputnik V vaccine

Four people recently died after taking Russia's Sputnik V anti-corona jab in previously unreported cases, which are being taken "seriously" by the EU regulator, the European Medicines Agency.


After 50 years, where do Roma rights stand now?

Beatings, forced sterilisation, police violence and fire bombings by right-wing extremists against Romani communities are still a reality in Europe. The corona pandemic only worsened this situation.

News in Brief

  1. Turkey blames EU for sexist protocol fiasco
  2. France to close elite civil-service academy
  3. Covid-19 cases in UK drop 60%, study finds
  4. White House urges 'calm' after Northern Ireland riots
  5. Italy's Draghi calls Turkey's Erdoğan a 'dictator'
  6. Slovakia told to return Sputnik V amid quality row
  7. EU risks €87bn in stranded fossil fuel assets
  8. Obligatory vaccination not against human rights, European court says


Why Germans understand the EU best

In Germany, there is commotion about a new book in which two journalists describe meetings held during the corona crisis between federal chancellor Angela Merkel, and the 16 prime ministers of its federal constituent states.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance
  5. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market

Latest News

  1. The Covid bell tolls for eastern Europe's populists
  2. Four deaths after taking Russian Sputnik V vaccine
  3. Post-Brexit riots flare up in Northern Ireland
  4. Advice on AstraZeneca varies across EU, amid blood clot fears
  5. Greenland election could see halt to rare-earth mining
  6. After 50 years, where do Roma rights stand now?
  7. Why Iran desperately wants a new nuclear deal
  8. Does new EU-ACP deal really 'decolonise' aid?

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us