A second week of negative publicity for Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party has failed to inflict significant political damage. In the past week, Dutch media managed to dig up further information about the criminal pasts of a number of the party’s MPs. Hero Brinkman was arrested for driving under the influence and it turns out that Eric Lucassen, who was convicted for illicit sexual acts with a subordinate when he was an army instructor, has serious financial problems. However, a weekly poll conducted by pollster Maurice de Hond shows Mr Wilders’ party losing just one seat, compared to last week’s loss of three.
If elections were held today, the Freedom Party (PVV) would win 27 seats, three more than its current number of MPs. The conservative VVD – which together with the Christian Democratic CDA forms the current minority government that relies on the PVV’s parliamentary support for a one-vote majority – also lost one seat compared to last week, but the 35 seats in Sunday’s poll are still four more than the number it won in the latest elections.