Only 36 percent of Members of the European Parliament are women. Your vote can change this underrepresentation. A lot of voters tend to vote for the first woman on the list. This unfortunately doesn’t lead to more women getting elected. Because of her high ranking, that woman will often be elected with or without your (preferential) vote anyway.
So how do we get more women elected? By strategically voting for women who won’t make the cut according to the polls. These women lower on the lists need your preferential vote to get in. For example, if the polls state that the party of your choice will get around 5 seats in the European Parliament, vote for a woman from number 5 on. If she gets enough votes, she will jump up on the list and get elected in spite of her lower position.*
In 2017, this voting tactic got three more women into Dutch Parliament. A year later, it got dozens more women elected to municipal councils all across the Netherlands, and just last March over 40 women in Provinces and local water government.
*Electing candidates through preferential voting is possible in: The Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
When your voting system does not allow candidates to be elected through preferential voting, it is still an important signal to political parties when a many voters vote for women!
Step 1: Choose a party, and click on the female candidates for more information.
Step 2: Vote for a woman, lower on the list than the poll (blue striped line*) indicates.
No blue stripes line? That could either mean that this party was not polled, or that it was polled on zero seats. Do not let this lead your decisionmaking; polls are never fully correct.