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Dutch populist Wilders caught by own campaign

Dutch right-wing Party for Freedom leader Geert Wilders attends a meeting in a bar in Scheveningen, the Netherlands, on May 22, 2014Dutch populist Geert Wilders was a surprise failure of the European elections, having failed to motivate his own supporters to go out and vote despite an aggressively anti-EU campaign. The defeat of Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) is not expected to affect the success of populist eurosceptics elsewhere in Europe, where parliament elections are being held until Sunday, but analysts say it demonstrates the paradoxical challenge they face: getting citizens to vote for a body they have no faith in. “Geert Wilders simply didn’t manage to mobilise his followers,” said political analyst Andre Krouwel of VU University Amsterdam. Exit polls after Thursday’s vote said Wilder’s PVV won just 12.2 percent of the vote, compared to 17 percent in 2009, winning just three MEP seats, two less than at the last election.

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