Making Sense Of The Dutch Election — And The Role Geert Wilders May Play

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Period14 Mar 2017

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleMaking Sense Of The Dutch Election — And The Role Geert Wilders May Play
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media name/outletNPR
    Media typePrint
    DescriptionKrouwel: He actually mobilizes quite a broad range of people. There's a lot of older voters who feel very insecure about how this country is changing with immigration. They feel like the undeserving are coming into our country, taking away or undermining our welfare state, our healthcare.

    The other group is people who are at the lower end of the labor market and they feel threatened by labor immigration. Then there's, of course, just people who think that Dutch culture is going down the drain by immigration. They don't like the multicultural society, or they feel like their neighborhood is changing too much.

    Do you see any connections between the concerns of these voters and some of the concerns that played out in the Brexit vote and Trump victory?

    Krouwel: I think they're exactly the same people. They are people who not necessarily are poor, but actually have a lot to lose. Trump voters, they earned over $70,000 per annum. You see a large part of the Wilders vote, they're earning a lot of money. Most of them earn more this year than last year, but they feel that they might lose everything. So, it's not what they have, it's what they think they might lose.

    How does the European migration crisis, the refugee crisis, fit into this?

    Krouwel: If every night you see hordes of people [on TV] walking down roads with whole families moving this way, people feel anxious about it. They feel like hordes of immigrants and refugees are coming into our country and we're swamped by them. That's also the language that Wilders is using, that we're [being] taken over and we have to take back our country.
    PersonsAndré Krouwel