As Dutch Politics Flounders, Wilders’ Popularity Soars

As Dutch Politics Flounders, Wilders’ Popularity Soars
Geert Wilders speaks to reporters ahead of government-formation talks, in the Netherlands, Jan. 16, 2024 (Sipa photo by Robin Utrecht via AP Images).

When Dutch voters handed the far right a stunning victory in last November’s elections, they sent a chill across Europe. After all, Geert Wilders, apparently poised to become the next prime minister of the Netherlands, had a long track record of inflammatory positions. His victory looked like a sign of things to come across the continent.

Nearly three months later, with government-formation talks collapsing and the Netherlands’ political future now mired in uncertainty, the Dutch are again telegraphing an unsettling message.

Last week, negotiations to form a government led by Wilders and his Euroskeptic, anti-immigrant Party for Freedom, or PVV, appeared to unravel when Pieter Omtzigt pulled his New Social Contract, or NSC, out of the talks. With that, the chances that Wilders can build a majority coalition seemed to vanish.

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