How Geert Wilders turned all corners of Dutch society into far right voters

Radical right-wing voters are often portrayed as old, white people, de Voogd said. “To some extent, this is changing; And to some extent, that image has never been true,” he said.

According to the researcher, far-right voters generally fall into three broad categories: There are conservative voters, who previously supported Christian parties or liberals. Then there are voters from poor areas, who used to vote socialist. Then there are those who live in the suburbs, where, under the pressure of rising costs, people fear they will fall down the social ladder in a kind of “middle-class stress,” de Voogd said.

In some parts of the Netherlands, such as the north-east, the last election – in which, due to pandemic precautions, voters over 70 could cast their vote through post – A generational gap was revealed between older voters, who still supported traditional parties, and younger voters, who more often supported Wilders. “Children of PVDA-ers [Labor Party] Have become PVV-ers,” de Voogd said, referring to the Freedom Party by its Dutch acronym.

As well as luring voters away from other parties, the Freedom Party tapped a huge new voter potential: non-voters. Dutch voter analysis showed that the second-largest source of new votes for Wilders – about 11 percent – ​​came from people who had not voted in 2021.

Entrepreneur Laminta Van Keuren, 40, said a lack of trust in politicians in power, fears for the safety of her children and struggles to find housing meant it was time for a “completely different party”. ,

As a single mother, she had no choice but to live with her former partner. Asylum seekers “Everyone found homes… but I, who have lived here all my life, couldn’t find a home with my children,” she complained.