The State of the Nation: Dutch Jump to the Left

A procession honouring the murdered Aziz (‘We are all Aziz’) contrasted with a picture of Wilders and one of his party slogans (‘Henk and Ingrid are sick of paying for Ali and Fatima’)

The Netherlands goes to the left this election. The most influential far-right politician of Europe, Geert Wilders, has experienced his downfall. After creating an image of an average blue-collar couple that his party stands up for, a couple of the same name were involved in a real murder in a real place in the Netherlands. After an argument, Henk and Ingrid of Almemo killed Aziz Kara – their neighbour. Couple this with the image of racism, prejudice, and fascism that Wilder’s party is trying to avoid and you have a PR disaster.

The PVV (Wilder’s far right party) has now dropped any reference to Henk and Ingrid, once their main slogan and image. The damage has already been done, however.

What this could mean for the Dutch Election and Europe at large:

A more left wing Europe. The loss in popularity by the PVV has not meant gains for the big parties (yet). Voting for parties like PVV/BNP are usually seen as protest or anger votes, and the blame for this anger could switch from muslims and immigrants to austerity in the Netherlands.

The SP of the Netherlands is infamous for throwing fruit at its opposition, it is a test of professionalism within the party how well they do to bank on this crisis – the most positive scenario for them to become the largest power in the Dutch Parliament. However, with the number of seats the SP is predicted to gain decreasing ever more since last week’s debate, it is most certainly not a foregone conclusion either way. Though at a time when more centrist politicians have become complacent in ‘managing’ economies, the extremist SPs and Syriza of Greece could be taking votes with talks of change.