Dutch more likely to look on the bright side, just 14% are disillusioned

While many people in the Netherlands are worried about increasing polarisation in society, people are also optimistic that everything will work out okay, according to a survey of 6,000 people for the AD.

‘I think we are exaggerating the level of dissatisfaction in society,’ researcher Peter Kanne told the paper. ‘Just 14% of voters are disillusioned with the Netherlands.’ Of the rest, 37% are hopeful about the future and 49% neutral.

‘If you look at the middle group, they tend more towards being hopeful than disillusioned,’ Kanne said. ‘A substantial minority may be unhappy, but it is still a minority.’

Nevertheless, a large group of voters are concerned about Dutch norms and values and this is why so many political parties have adopted the theme, the AD said.

In particular, people with a low level of education are likely to be pessimistic about the future. Just 7% of graduates are disappointed, with healthcare and immigration topping their list of concerns.

The disillusioned minority are also less likely to vote, but 43% will back the anti-Islam PVV, 9% the Socialists and 7% 50Plus.

Wrong direction

Last December, the government’s socio-cultural policy unit SCP said the Dutch have become a lot more optimistic about the future but still a slight majority think the Netherlands is heading in the wrong direction.

Some 37% of people thought things are going well in society and the economy, compared with 28% in the previous quarter. The number of pessimists has gone down from 61% to 53%.

In particular, the pessimists are worried about the more brutal way people are dealing with each other, refugees and healthcare, the SCP said.