In the Eye of the Beholder: The Perception of the List Pim Fortuyn and the Parliamentary Elections of May 2002

J.J.M. van Holsteyn, G.A. Irwin, J.M. Ridder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic


A commonly heard explanation of the results of the May 2002 parliamentary election is that the vote changes occurred because of a shift to the right within the electorate. Previously published results are summarized here to show that this hypothesis must be rejected. Instead, a second hypothesis is formulated which explains the vote shifts in terms of the new calculations that voters were forced to make when a new, credible party entered the electoral marketplace. The analysis here presents empirical support for this hypothesis by demonstrating that voters were aware of the positions taken by the List Pim Fortuyn (LPF), especially on those issues that Pim Fortuyn had placed at the forefront of the political agenda. Voters clearly saw the LPF as a party of the right on these issues. The positions that are perceived to have been taken by the electorate in the eyes of the voter are as important as the positions taken by the voters themselves in understanding the May 2002 results.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)69-87
JournalActa politica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • IR-61242

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