Geert Wilders & The Silent Majority of Dutch Voters

From the BBC story “Are Dutch voters really turning to populist Geert Wilders?”:

A quick calculation suggests almost three million people would vote for Geert Wilders. Anti-Islam and anti-immigration, Mr Wilders was found guilty on Friday of inciting discrimination and of insulting a group of Moroccan immigrants, although no penalty was imposed.

So where are the PVV’s voters?

The traditional method for tracking down PVV supporters down generates zero results, says political scientist Andre Krouwel.

“The PVV has no party organisation or local branches, no member or activist base, he is the only member of the party.”

A party source recommends a cosy pub opposite parliament to find supporters. But when the owners discover I am a journalist, they become edgy and are reluctant to talk politics.

The Twitter hashtag #stempvv (vote PVV) throws up plenty of anonymous profile pictures – a car, a sunflower and an angry cartoon character.

Many PVV supporters say they would prefer not to talk to journalists – a combination of distrust and fear of being stigmatised or misrepresented.

“It’s socially not acceptable to vote PVV, they’re considered extremist-right wing,” journalist Wierd Duk told the BBC.

“They would be excluded from their social circle, work, they’d lose friends, promotion opportunities. If you out yourself as a PVV supporter you’re seen as a threat to the dominant ideology of tolerance and consensus.”…

Who are Wilders’ elusive supporters?

It took some effort to track down proud PVV supporters.

All of them speak of a loss of faith in the mainstream, of broken promises and politically correct tip-toeing around the real issues affecting their lives, primarily radical Islam, immigration and the influence of the EU.

Sound familiar?

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