Upsetting the status quo seems to be the theme in recent elections…
Upstart nationalist Baudet vies to become largest Dutch party in Europe
By Anthony Deutsch
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A 36-year-old nationalist who has taken Dutch politics by storm is set to make huge gains in European elections in the Netherlands on Thursday.
Thierry Baudet’s Forum for Democracy, which won just 2% of the vote in a 2017 general election, is polling at 15% ahead of voting, neck and neck with the party of ruling Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
Baudet, who styled himself “the most important intellectual in the Netherlands” in a 2016 tweet, emphasizes “Dutch first” cultural and economic themes. He blames immigration for the decline of Christian, European civilization and wants the Netherlands to leave the European Union.
Baudet’s party came in first in provincial elections in March, ahead of Rutte’s People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy.
Baudet has drawn support largely from the Freedom party of his right-wing rival Geert Wilders, another Eurosceptic best known for his campaign against Islam. Wilders is polling near a decade low of 5%.