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Latest polls show it's possible to build a working government with a constellation of 4 parties - and excluding Wilders. A four party-government is not unprecedented - just not in recent history.

This recent article of the Dutch weekly Groene Amsterdammer attempts to address the popularity of Wilders amongst a swath of different voters.

Wilders' voters are not just `globalisation's losers'

Globalisation's losers may well form the core of the populist parties' electorate, Abts concedes but they certainly aren't the only group susceptible to the rhetoric of salvation. `There is no doubt that globalisation has left people behind,' he says. `It's understandable that populism appeals to people who are living in poverty. They want to apportion blame for the lack of jobs, cutbacks on benefits and rising costs that affect them. Globalisation has taken away their jobs, and with them their only security in life. In this group, which accounts for about fifteen percent of the population, feelings of resentment, cynicism about politics and rejection of immigration are widespread.'

A potentially bigger group of far right voters is formed by people who have not yet experienced any adverse effects but fear their turn may soon come. Increasingly, they feel their livelihoods are at risk. `People belonging to the middle class are having to struggle more to keep their heads above water. You can't put them in the losing camp, not yet anyway. But with all that is happening around them they are afraid that is where they will end up. They wonder if they will be able to survive. They are afraid that even their best efforts won't be enough to preserve what they have. They are afraid of losing their social status and fearful for their own and, above all, their children's future. Meanwhile they are looking up the ladder at the privileged who have nothing to worry about, and down the ladder at the people who they feel are enjoying the fruits of collective prosperity without having to lift a finger.'

According to Abts, the middle class is not so much affected by unemployment or loss of income as by a deep sense of vulnerability. For people with medium level vocational qualifications in particular the fall to the bottom may not be far away. `Lower middle class workers will be the first victims of robotisation. A whole category of work is at risk. You can see the jobs melting away. Some political scientists are going down the moral route and talk of a protest vote. That is far too lazy an explanation. Every vote has a certain logic, and this future crisis is part of it.'

by Bjinse on Wed Mar 8th, 2017 at 10:46:48 PM EST

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