Rotterdam’s mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb is the most popular Dutch politician, according to research involving 11,000 people for news agency ANP and quoted by the Telegraaf.
Aboutaleb scores 7.49 out of 10, beating Amsterdam’s mayor Eberhard van der Laan by 0.48 percentage point. Bottom of the popularity poll of 12 is Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-Islam PVV, who scored less than 3.
Aboutaleb, who became the first Muslim mayor in the Netherlands when he took over the helm in Rotterdam in 2009, is not only popular among his own party (Labour) and the VVD, the researchers found.
Members of the PVV also respect Aboutaleb, who came to the Netherlands as the son of an imam at the age of 15, the Telegraaf says.
André Krouwel of the Kieskompas research team said Aboutaleb ‘speaks everyone’s language’. Aboutaleb is left on social and economic issues but has a hard line on radicalisation, telling people who don’t like the Dutch way of life to leave, he pointed out.
However, despite the large sample, Kieskompas warns that the poll may not be representative of the general population because well-educated people are better represented on the panel than the elderly and low-skilled.
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