NETHERLANDS
Parliamentary Chamber: Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal

ELECTIONS HELD IN 2002

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Chamber:
  Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  15 May 2002


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in the House of Representatives on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.


Background and outcome of elections:

  The electoral campaign leading to the elections held on 15 May 2002 was marked by the murder of Mr Pim Fortuyn, a maverick politician who launched his own anti-immigration party in February 2002 after being ousted from the "Liveable Netherlands" party. He was killed on 6 May 2002 after giving a radio interview in the town of Hilversum, near Amsterdam. The leader of the Pim Fortuyn List (Lijst Pim Fortuyn-LPF) had been rising quickly in opinion polls and could have been the winner of the elections, according to the polls. He had gained widespread support with his controversial views, including the demand that the Dutch borders be closed to new immigrants, or calling Islam a "backward" religion.

As a result of the murder, the leaders of the other political parties in the race decided that the election should go on but without resuming the electoral campaign.

Turnout in the election was high, with nearly 80 per cent of all registered voters casting ballots.

The opposition Christian Democrats won a resounding victory in the elections, taking 43 of the 150 seats, while the Pim Fortuyn List came in second, with 26. The centre-left coalition, in power for the past eight years suffered a severe defeat, with the Labour Party of outgoing interim Prime Minister Wim Kok taking only 23 seats, the same number as the allies in the coalition, the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). The Green Left won 11 seats, the Socialist Party 9, the Left Liberals (D66) 7, and the Christian Union 4.

Labour Party parliamentary leader Mr Ad Melkert resigned after the party lost almost half its seats and was replaced by the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ms. Jeltje van Nieuwenhoven.

On 28 May 2002, Mr Frans Weisglas (VVD) was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives. On 4 July 2002, the new coalition government made up of the Christian Democratic Alliance (CDA), the Pim Fortuyn List and the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) was sworn in.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (15 May 2002): Elections results  
Voters 9 501 152 (79 %)

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) 2 653 723 27.90
Pim Fortuyn List (LPF) 1 614 801 17.00
Liberal Party (VVD) 1 466 722 15.50
Labour Party (PvdA) 1 436 023 15.10
Green Left 660 692 7.00
Socialist Party (SP) 560 447 5.90
Democrats 66 (D66) 484 317 5.10
Christian Union 240 953 2.50
State Reform Party (SGP) 163 562 1.70
Leefbar Nederland 153 055 1.60

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) 43 +14
Pim Fortuyn List (LPF) 26 +26
Liberal Party (VVD) 24 -14
Labour Party (PvdA) 23 -22
Green Left 10 -1
>Socialist Party (SP) 9 +4
Democrats 66 (D66) 7 -7
Christian Union 4 +4
State Reform Party (SGP) 2 -1
Leefbar Nederland 2 +2

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 99
Women: 51
Percent of women: 34.00


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Copyright 2002 Inter-Parliamentary Union