More support for farmers until they block the roads: survey


Protesting farmers can count on more public sympathy than climate activists, but support for both plummets when roadblocks are involved, a survey by Kieskompas on behalf of regional broadcasters has shown.

Four in 10 people (39%) support demonstrations by farmers while three in 10 (29%) give their backing to climate activists – as long as protests are confined to the town hall or on social media.

Support for closing roads falls to just 19% for farmers and 11% for climate activists, even though most respondents said they have not experienced any adverse effects from the blockades.

More people support climate activists than farmers in the cities and vice versa. Political affiliation also plays a role, the survey showed, with support for farmers particularly pronounced in people who vote for far right parties and the pro-countryside BBB.

A majority of GroenLinks and PvdA voters support climate activists while people who vote VVD, NSC and CDA  show less support for both farmers and climate campaigners.

Farmers’ protests garner more sympathy because some city dwellers are from a farming background, or who know farmers, farmers’ campaign group Agractie told broadcaster NOS.

“It gives them more of a connection to farmers. The effects of agricultural policy are felt immediately. Climate is relatively abstract,” a spokesman for the organisation said.

Extinction Rebellion said it is “not interested in winning a popularity contest”. “Our actions have focused attention on the climate crisis more than ever. We are not doing it because we want to be liked, ” a spokesman said.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation