Baudet denies that he engages with conspiracy thinkers and speaks of unfortunate moments that do not reflect his point of view. He says he is not responsible for the views of people with whom he is talking. “I talk to everyone, I always have.”
Camera footage shows that Baudet regularly does not follow the coronar rules, but he now says that he does comply with the rules and that everyone should do so. “If rules apply, I will abide by them. This also applies to the speed limit on the highway, for example.”
In the polls, the party drops further and further away. Forum for Democracy has two seats in the House of Representatives, but stood at fifteen seats in the polls early this year. There are now six of them left, according to the latest polling guide, a summary of the polls of Ipsos, I&O Research and Kantar. Voters who drop out of Forum for Democracy find their best salvation with the PVV of Geert Wilders.
Peter Kanne, researcher at I&O Research, recites the substantial loss of Forum for Democracy mainly to the partys corona position. “Voters of FvD and the PVV are critical of the cabinet policy around corona. But where PVV voters want the policy to be stricter, Forum voters think it should all loosen up. Former voters who want a stricter policy are now going to the PVV.”
According to Kanne, it is mainly about people who are low-educated and who are concerned about their health. “These are often people working in contact groups, people who cannot work at home. If you follow Baudets measures, they feel unsafe.”
Voters also criticize Baudet for showing himself too much with conspiracy thinkers. For example, in the FVD news of 29 June, the party leader said that Willem Engel of the action group Virus Truth is one of the people who supports Forum in the “fight” against the “absurd lockdown”.
At Het Plein in The Hague, Baudet recently addressed protesters who deny the danger of corona. Among them were those who intimidated politicians and decided to be child rapist. Baudet told the protesters that he thinks it is extremely courageous that there are more and more people who are making a “different sound”.
Thea den Hollander became an enthusiastic member of Forum a few years ago. But during the coronacrisis, that changed. “I am someone who does follow the coronare rules, and I think we should all do that.” Thea has the idea that there are now many people who are against the corona measures. “But I think there are a lot of people like me at Forum who now feel like I dont belong there anymore.”
Who shes going to vote for in March? She expects her voice to go to Wilders. “I disagree with his Islamic point of view, but because he stands up for the care staff, he probably gets my vote anyway.”
Marijke Lammen-Vonk also felt connected with Forums ideas, but will not vote for Baudets party. “Keeping distance and the mouthcaps he thinks is all nonsense. I find the attitude he takes arrogant, and it repels.”
Lidia Oudhof will still vote on Forum, precisely because of the corona position. She regrets that there seems to be no room for a different sound elsewhere. She will find that sound at Baudet and alternative sources, such as Viruswaarheid and Café Weltschmerz. “There they invite people, including doctors, who simply hear different sounds. My gut says fear is created to hold power over people.”
There is also discussion within the party about the corona position. Baudet: “We are dealing with a new situation, so fortunately there is a lot of discussion.” Today it was announced that Joost Eerdmans, former MP on behalf of the LPF, is on spot four of the electoral list. Eondmans said he doesnt want to be associated with conspiracies. About running away from voters, Baudet says, “I have four and a half months to win them back.”