With the nuclear summit out of the way Dutch politicians can again look inward and study the pleasant spectacle of Wilders’s PVV continuing to slide down. Yesterday, the Een Vandaag poll saw him drop seven seats to 20. My average is designed to filter out sudden movements, so there the PVV is still the largest party, but if tomorrow’s Politieke Barometer also sees a loss, it’s going to slip to second place.
The exodus continues, but slower. In the past few days Wilders lost two provincial States members. On the (for him) plus side, the Almere fraction decided to stay within the PVV, and the Senate and parliament fractions proclaimed their loyalty.
Then again, the European elections remain a problem. PVV EP leader Stassen left the party earlier, and the fraction elected a new chairman, who, however, indicated that he wouldn’t be eligible in the 22 May elections. Wilders meanwhile selected a new leader for after 22 May, but this is still not good news.
Even worse new was the gains the French Front National made in the local elections. A few months back Wilders and FN leader Le Pen announced a sort-of coalition, with Le Pen coming to Den Haag and them giving a press conference and everything. The reasons for this alliance lie in European Parliament, where Le Pen wants to form a right-wing fraction but doesn’t have MEPs from enough countries. See this article for the full story.
Also, Le Pen desperately wants to go mainstream, since she’s smelling ... not victory, but certainly a better place in French politics. As a result she is officially not happy with Wilders’s anti-Moroccan slogans, however much the FN electorate in France might agree. So it seems Wilder’s biggest foreign achievement is also toast.
Finally, most other parties had demanded a debate in parliament about Wilders’s anti-Moroccan slogans. Wilders let them know he would not attend, which kind of took the wind from their sails. But, as PvdA leader Samsom said, Wilders will have to return to parliament eventually, and the other parties can always ask their questions then.
Nothing has been conclusively decided, and Wilders might bounce back, but he’s going through the toughest spot he’s been in so far.
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This is the political blog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer, in Amsterdam. It’s a hobby blog where he follows Dutch politics for the benefit of those twelve foreigners that are interested in such matters, as well as his Dutch readers.
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