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Monday, 13 May, 2002, 16:06 GMT 17:06 UK
Fortuyn party soars in polls
Pim Fortuyn
Fortuyn's party has attracted new voters since his death
Support for the party of anti-immigration politician Pim Fortuyn has been increasing since his murder a week ago, a Dutch opinion poll has suggested.

Projected seats
31 Christian Democrats
28 Pim Fortuyn's List
25 Labour
25 Liberals
15 Greens
Nipo poll
With only two days left before Wednesday's general election, Pim Fortuyn's List has overtaken Labour to take second place with 18.5% of the votes, according to the survey by the Nipo research bureau.

A poll by another organisation, Nova, on 3 May put him on 12.4% support, while a Nipo survey on 1 May gave him 17%.

The new poll - the first since Mr Fortuyn's death - puts him only two percentage points behind the leaders, the right-wing Christian Democrats, whose support registers at 20.5%.

Wim Kok
Wim Kok's Labour party has been beaten into third
Support for Mr Fortuyn's party was registered at 18.5%, which would give it 28 of the country's 150 seats.

The Labour Party of outgoing Prime Minister Wim Kok has slid to 16.5%, the poll suggests - dramatically lower than the 29% it achieved in the 1998 election.

If the poll is accurate, it would mean Labour losing nearly half its 45 seats.

The sympathy vote will generate extra support - the problem is that no-one knows if they are able to offer suitable people for the

Kees Lunshof
Political commentator
All election campaigning was stopped after Mr Fortuyn's murder, but BBC correspondents said it had been thought that his party could benefit from a sympathy vote.

Dutch political commentators told BBC News Online that Mr Fortuyn's party was very likely to be in the new Dutch cabinet, if the poll predictions were accurate.

His party could get as many as four or five seats in the 12-member cabinet, said Kees Lunshof of De Telegraaf newspaper.

Mourner at Pim Fortuyn funeral
The Netherlands was shocked at Pim Fortuyn's murder
"The sympathy vote will generate extra support," he told BBC News Online.

"The problem is that no-one knows if they are able to offer suitable people for the job - it's such a new party."

And Frank Poortuyes, of De Volkskrant newspaper, said the left was "taking a hammering" partly because some voters held it responsible for demonising Mr Fortuyn, thereby playing a role in his murder.

The margin of error of the opinion poll is 1.8% for the big parties.

More than 2,100 people were interviewed, fewer than the usual sample of 3,000, as polling was also suspended temporarily after Mr Fortuyn's death.

The BBC's Angus Roxburgh
"Normal political life is in tatters"
See also:

11 May 02 | From Our Own Correspondent
The paradox of Pim Fortuyn
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