Islam critic Wilders surges ahead in poll

18th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

18 November 2004AMSTERDAM — Independent politician Geert Wilders would win 24 seats if a general election was held in the Netherlands now, according to a new poll. Wilders broke away from the Liberals earlier this year when party elders tried to restrain his criticism of Islam and his opposition to Turkey's entry into the EU.

18 November 2004

AMSTERDAM — Independent politician Geert Wilders would win 24 seats if a general election was held in the Netherlands now, according to a new poll. Wilders broke away from the Liberals earlier this year when party elders tried to restrain his criticism of Islam and his opposition to Turkey's entry into the EU.

Wilders has experienced a strong rise in support following the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam on 2 November.

A letter pinned to Van Gogh's body with a knife warned Wilders and his former colleagues in the Liberal Party (VVD), Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Jozias Van Aartsen, that they would also be killed if they continued to criticise Islam.

An opinion poll released by NTS Nipo said Wilders would win 24 seats in the 150-seat Dutch Parliament if an election was held now. A poll last week said he could win up to 19 seats.

Wilder's appears to be drawing much of his support from the VVD, with the NTS Nipo poll suggesting the Liberals would lose seven of its 28 seats. VVD voters questioned said they trusted Wilders more than the Liberal politicians to deal with Islamic extremism and terrorism.

The VVD is in a coalition government with Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's Christian Democrat Party (CDA), and smaller Liberal Democrat Party D66.

The latest poll indicates Wilders is also syphoning support from the CDA, as Balkenende's party would drop from 45 to 25 seats if the country was balloted now.

The biggest winner would be the opposition Labour Party (PvdA), with the opinion poll predicting the party would win 45 seats.

The smaller Socialist Party, which traditionally does better in opinion polls than at the ballot box, would jump from seven to 15 seats, NTS Nipo said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news  

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