Dutch general election, 2002
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The Dutch general election of 2002, held on May 15, 2002 was the most dramatic in Dutch history, not just in terms of the electoral results. It was completely focused on populist leader Pim Fortuyn, who was assassinated shortly before the elections. His party made a huge leap from nothing to 17% of the votes, making it the second biggest party. Fortuyn had especially attacked immigration policies and also questioned all forms of policies undertaken by the previous 'purple' cabinets (Paars) of Wim Kok, which he blamed for everything from crime to waiting lists in health services.
The CDA was the surprising winner of the election, gaining 14 seats (from 29 to 43) and becoming the largest party in the Tweede Kamer. This success is owed to its new leader Jan Peter Balkenende, who would become prime minister, and to its neutral attitude in the debate with Fortuyn (it became a perfect alternative to both the government parties, which were utterly despised, and the LPF, which future was uncertain because of Fortuyn's death) who would have been ‘demonized’ by the political Left. - The CDA became coalition party after eight years in opposition (1994-2002)
Another party making its debut in the Tweede Kamer was Leefbaar Nederland.
 National summary
Only parties that got seats in parliament are shown in the table below.
In order to show how dramatic the results were, the differences with the previous elections in terms of assigned seats are shown in the last column.
|Christen-Democratisch Appèl||Jan Peter Balkenende||2,653,723||27.9||43||+ 14|
|Lijst Pim Fortuyn||Pim Fortuyn||1,614,801||17.0||26||+ 26|
|Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie||Hans Dijkstal||1,466,722||15.4||24||- 14|
|Partij van de Arbeid||Ad Melkert||1,436,023||15.1||23||- 22|
|GroenLinks||Paul Rosenmöller||660,692||7.0||10||- 1|
|Socialistische Partij||Jan Marijnissen||560,447||5.9||9||+ 4|
|Democraten 66||Thom de Graaf||484,317||5.1||7||- 7|
|ChristenUnie||Kars Veling||240,953||2.5||4||- 1|
|Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij||Bas van der Vlies||163,562||1.7||2||- 1|
|Leefbaar Nederland||Fred Teeven||153,055||1.6||2||+ 2|
- Christian Democratic Appeal (Christen-Democratisch Appèl)
- Christian Union (ChristenUnie), merger of Reformatorian Political Federation and Reformed Political Alliance
- Democrats 66 (Democraten 66)
- Green Left (GroenLinks)
- Labour Party (Partij van de Arbeid)
- List Pim Fortuyn (Lijst Pim Fortuyn)
- Livable Netherlands (Leefbaar Nederland)
- People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie)
- Political Reformed Party (Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij)
- Socialist Party (Socialistische Partij)
The election of May 15, 2002 was the beginning of a year of political chaos in the Netherlands as the leader of the LPF was assassinated before election. The first Balkenende cabinet (CDA-LPF-VVD), which was inaugurated on July 22, 2002 fell on October 16, 2002. It was the shortest-ruling Dutch cabinet since the Second World War.
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