Comparative European Politics

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 282–302 | Cite as

Fortuyn's Legacy: Party System Change in the Netherlands

  • Huib Pellikaan
  • Sarah L de Lange
  • Tom van der Meer
Original Article


This article argues that the entrance of the Lijst Pim Fortuyn in the Dutch Parliament after the May 2002 elections shows the relevance of the Schattschneider–Mair thesis of party system change. Fortuyn introduced a new line of conflict that restructured party competition in the Netherlands. The introduction of this new line of conflict has transformed the Dutch party system abruptly. The Dutch case differs from many other west European countries in which the rise of a successful radical right-wing populist party has changed the party system gradually.


multi dimensional political space lines of conflict party system change 



We thank Hans-Dieter Klingemann, Peter Mair, Joop van Holsteyn and the reviewers of CEP for their suggestions and comments on earlier versions.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huib Pellikaan
    • 1
  • Sarah L de Lange
    • 2
  • Tom van der Meer
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of LeidenLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  3. 3.Nijmeegs-Instituut voor Sociaal-Cultureel Onderzoek (NISCO)NijmegenThe Netherlands

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