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Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders in Prague. Twitter

Dutch survey: Mainstream media ignore EP election campaigns

The European elections may be three weeks away, but six in 10 people in the Netherlands do not know who the campaign leader of the party they plan to vote for is, according to a new survey by Dutch research bureau I&O.

Published: May 3, 2019, 7:36 am

    This total lack of information is a result of the mainstream media outlets completely ignoring the campaigns launched by sovereignist parties.

    Underscoring the media censorship is the fact that the best known of the campaign leaders is former Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, who is heading up the PvdA campaign. More worrying is that for the conservative VVD – 10 percent of people who plan to vote for the party on May 23 think the far-left Timmermans is their party leader.

    In total, 69 percent of people were able to identify Timmermans but others, some who have worked in Brussels for years, were off the radar to potential voters.

    Only one in 10 voters could recognise Marcel de Graaff, leader of the anti-EU PVV while just 9 percent knew who Esther de Lange (CDA) was.

    The research results were much more pessimistic about support for the EU and voting intentions than a recent poll by the EU-allied Eurobarometer. Almost one in five said the Netherlands should follow Britain and leave the EU, compared to just 8 percent in the Eurobarometer survey.

    I&O also said 46 percent of those polled agreed that EU institutions have too much power and 47 percent said European integration had gone too far. I&O also forecasts turnout in the vote will be between 37 percent and 45 percent, whereas Eurobarometer put it at over 70 percent. At the last EU elections in 2014, just 37 percent of the population voted.

    The leaders of several European sovereignist parties campaigned in the capital of Czechia on April 25, ahead of the European Parliament elections set for May 23-26, but the event drew almost no media interest.

    The Prague rally was sponsored by the Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom (MENF), a pan-European alliance of nine sovereignist parties against mass migration and the dictates of the unelected elite in Brussels.

    The Prague event was organised by the president of the Czech Freedom and Direct Democracy Party (SPD), Tomio Okamura, who was joined by Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) leader Geert Wilders, French National Rally (RN) leader Marine Le Pen, the President of Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom (MENF), Gerolf Annemans, and British MEP Janice Atkinson, who is also Vice Chair of the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) political group in the European Parliament.

    Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, leader of the anti-mass migration League party, sent a video message to address the crowd at the historic Wenceslas Square.

    Despite the media censorship, National Rally party leader Le Pen has been working tirelessly. Since January the RN has held 45 public meetings and some 60 are planned for the month of May.

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