Right-wing Freedom Party is Netherland’s largest political force, says poll
Friday, 14 February 2014 07:59
Geert Wilder's party would now be in strong position to form government
Just over three months from the European elections, a major new poll in the Netherlands shows that Geert Wilders' right-wing Freedom Party is now the country's largest political party – and would be in a strong position to form a government if an election were held tomorrow.
Individual polls in recent months have shown the Freedom Party eclipsing prime minister Mark Rutte's Liberals. Yesterday's "poll of polls" – a weighted average of the country's four main political polls – confirms Mr Wilders' dominance as the Liberal-Labour coalition languishes in the mid-term doldrums.
There are local elections in the Netherlands next month, but Mr Wilders has taken a strategic decision to run candidates in just two strong locations – The Hague, the seat of political power, and the country's "youngest" city of Almere, 25km east of Amsterdam.
This means the first significant test of his new standing will be when he pushes his anti-EU message in the run-up to the European Parliament elections towards the end of May, as part of a pan-European alliance with Marine Le Pen's National Front in France.
Up from 2012
The poll shows the Freedom Party would take between 25 and 29 seats in the 150-seat parliament, up from 15 in 2012, if an election were held tomorrow. This would put its share of the vote at between 16.6 per cent and 19.3 per cent, up from 10.1 per cent two years ago.
By contrast, Mr Rutte and the Liberals would take just 20 to 24 seats, a sharp drop from 41 in 2012, giving them between 13 and 16 per cent of the vote compared to 27 per cent in 2012.
However analysts suggested last night that their support has "stabilised" at a mid-term low.
The worst news is reserved for the junior coalition partners, Labour, who have borne the brunt of electoral dissatisfaction for their perceived failure to soften the impact of austerity budget cuts since joining the Liberals in power.
The poll suggests Labour would take between 14 and 18 seats or 9 to 12 per cent of the poll, compared with a high of 38 seats and 24.8 per cent of the poll in 2012 – essentially halving their presence in parliament and placing a question mark over leader Diederik Samsom. Interestingly, the poll shows the middle ground of Dutch politics now inhabited by the Socialists, with between 20 and 24 seats, and centre-left D66 with a solid 20 or 21.
Netherlands Are Better Off Out of EU
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 22:40
The Dutch economy will grow substantially if the Netherlands leave the European Union (NExit). That is the conclusion of the renowned British research firm Capital Economics in a report commissioned by the PVV. Capital Economics is the winner of the Wolfson Prize, the biggest prize for economic research after the Nobel Prize.
If the Netherlands leave the EU, the Dutch economy will be 10 per cent bigger by 2024 than if it remains in the EU. The average annual benefit is almost 10,000 euros per household over the next two decades.
PVV-leader Geert Wilders: "The report shows that leaving the EU is our way out of the crisis. Without the self-defeating austerity policies imposed by Brussels, the Dutch will be able to cut taxes and reduce VAT and excise duties. The Dutch will no longer have to ship their tax money to Greece and will be able to stop paying welfare benefits to Romanians and Bulgarians.
Geert Wilders explains the unique chances of NExit for the Netherlands in a video message taped in the Port of Rotterdam – a place which, just as in the rest of the country, will benefit from the Dutch EU exit.
The PVV in the Ascendancy
Tuesday, 21 January 2014 20:35
According to the latest De Telegraaf poll, Geert Wilders' party the PVV (Partij voor de Vrijheid, Party for Freedom) is even more popular than it was a month ago. It is not just the most popular party in the country, it is about to overtake the combined total of its two nearest rivals. Since those two parties head the current coalition government, this is auspicious news indeed.
Our Dutch correspondent SimonXML sends the following report on this auspicious occasion:
Encouraging news from The Netherlands this morning. At the last two general elections, the mainstream political parties shut out the PVV by forming a coalition with some (fringe, crackpot) minority parties. According to the latest 'de Hond' poll, if elections were to be held today, Wilders' PVV would have almost as many seats (30) as the VVD (liberal) and PvdA (labour party) combined (31).
The trend towards the PVV and away from the main parties is continuing. The next elections (2017, unless the cabinet falls before then) are going to be quite interesting.
It's curious that most of the bleeding is coming from the "lower classes" (Dutch society is just as class ridden as British society, although the Dutch make a big fuss about not being class conscious, and look down their noses at the Brits as a result). So they use the education level as the benchmark (HAVO being sort of US high school graduate level).
The point is though that even if the poll results are inaccurate, we are rapidly approaching the point where it would be impossible for the parties to form a majority coalition that did not include the PVV — something they have all steadfastly refused to do in the past.
Last time they had to resort to bringing in the Animal Rights Party and the 50+ party, not to mention the SGP — an orthodox Protestant party who at the time even refused to have female members.
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