Next week’s Dutch election is being widely regarded as a bellwether for populist parties throughout Europe, with the extreme right expected to dramatically increase its presence in parliament.
As recently as a few weeks ago it looked as if right-wing populist Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom (PVV) might be the outright winners of the March 15 parliamentary election in the Netherlands, but recent polls show that his support is slipping, putting him in a dead heat with sitting Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s centre-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD).
The current Peilingwijzer poll of polls has the PVV party garnering 14.7 percent of the vote, and the VVD taking 16.1 percent. That would still mark a significant gain for Wilders, who stands to snag about 25 seats, more than double the 12 it currently holds.
Even if Wilders manages to win more parliamentary seats than any other party with his platform of closing mosques, banning the Koran and shutting down immigration from predominantly Muslim countries, he will still need to form a coalition government. And with a dearth of parties willing to play ball with him, his chances of being able to govern are exceedingly slim.