Fortuyn's party likely to break up after murder

Isabel Conway,Jo Dillon
Sunday 12 May 2002 00:00
Comments

The murder of the flamboyant right-winger Pim Fortuyn has not only robbed this week's Dutch election of any fire, it may also extinguish the prospect of a large protest vote for his anti-immigration party.

Disarray has broken out in the LPF (Lijst Pim Fortuyn) party, which had been tipped to take 20 seats or more before the politician was shot dead by an extreme animal rights activist on Monday. Prominent senior members, including a co-founder, have already left a party that was built so clearly around one man. Mr Fortuyn's brother Martin has called for Lijst Pim Fortuyn to be disbanded, predicting political "chaos" and saying that without his brother there was no point in its existence.

In the absence of formal opinion polling ­ suspended after the murder of Mr Fortuyn ­ the impact of his death on voting intentions is still unclear. But in a nationwide survey by the NRC Handelsblad newspaper, only two of the 345 voters who had previously said they would not vote for Mr Fortuyn's party had changed their minds since the killing. Of those who had previously said they would vote for him, 23 per cent said that with their hero dead, they would return to parties they had previously supported. Another 22 per cent were undecided.

All the Dutch political parties agreed to continue the suspension of their campaigns and all debates on election issues as a mark of respect to the leader of the LPF. The sober mood, following days of national mourning for Mr Fortuyn, extends to a decision to dispense with music and celebrations at party gatherings after Wednesday's vote.

In the wake of Mr Fortuyn's killing, the rise of the National Front in France and racial unrest in Britain, ministers in London are spearheading a Europe-wide fight against far-right extremism. The Home Office Minister, John Denham, wants fellow Europeans to work together to find common solutions to shared problems on race. With the backing of the Prime Minister, Mr Denham has secured support from ministers across Europe for his social cohesion project.

An inaugural meeting is to be held in Britain shortly and the group, expected to comprise ministers, officials, community organisations and young people, will then move to other European locations.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in