Acta Politica

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 400–424 | Cite as

The Fortuyn Effect revisited: How did the LPF affect the Dutch parliamentary party system?

  • Simon Otjes
Original Article


The List Pim Fortuyn (LPF) is a key example of a family of new right-wing parties that, according to many observers, have had a strong effect on European party systems. This article studies the effect of the entry of the LPF into the Dutch Parliament on the parliamentary party system. The article looks at two aspects of the party system: first, did the LPF affect the issue agenda of the legislature? And second, has the LPF been able to create a new significant line of conflict in the legislature, as Kriesi and Frey and Pellikaan et al observed for the electoral arena? Or, as Van der Brug and Bale have proposed, is the Dutch party system after Fortuyn essentially one-dimensional? The study looks at new, behavioral, data from the Dutch legislature: parliamentary voting behavior and the sponsorship of motions, to answer these questions. It employs Poole's Open Classification method to understand the patterns underlying voting behavior.


party positions Dutch politics party systems parliamentary arena new political parties 



The author is grateful for the discussions at the ECPR Political Parties Standing Group Summer School (2009) and at a workshop at the ECPR Joint Sessions (2010). The comments of Peter Mair (EUI/Florence) were appreciated in particular. He wants to thank Maarten Marx for making his data available. He is also thankful for the critical comments from Rudy Andeweg, Huib Pellikaan, Tom Louwerse (Leiden University) and the anonymous reviewers of Acta Politica.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Otjes
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Political Science, Leiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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