Some 40% of the Dutch population agree with many of anti-Islam MP Geert Wilder’s statements, according to research by TNS Nipo for magazine Vrij Nederland.
According to opinion polls, Wilders would take about 18% of the vote if there was an election tomorrow. But this research shows support for his ideas is much wider, Vrij Nederland says.
Some 42% of those polled agreed with the statement that Wilders says ‘what ordinary people believe and want’. Some 35% do not think Wilders goes too far in his comments about Islam and Muslims and 38% agree with Wilders’ statement that Muslims have come to the Netherlands ‘to take things over’.
A large majority – 61% – agree with Wilders’ call for ‘street terrorists’ to be deported. Wilders used the phrase to describe gangs of youths, mainly of Moroccan origin.
Although support for Wilders among people with a university education has increased slightly, his main support is still found among ‘the ordinary man who does not feel that the established parties take him seriously,’ said researcher Peter Kanne.