Dutch voters head to the polls tomorrow in this year’s first big electoral test for the European Union. Yet though there will be important takeaways from the final vote tally of the far-right, the real story is how these formerly fringe ideas and politicians have established themselves in the political mainstream, and apparently for a long time to come.
The Party for Freedom (PVV) was founded by Geert Wilders in 2006. Wilders himself had been a backbencher in the ruling People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) before leaving to launch a political vehicle for his own nativist, anti-Islamic views. Unlike President Trump in the United States, Wilders is actually a longtime insider of Dutch politics, a fact that can sometimes clash with his anti-establishment line.