Pim Fortuyn sometimes tried to dissociate himself from other far right European politicians by saying that unlike many he didn't advocate sending immigrants home, he simply wanted to prevent new arrivals; "Holland is full" became one of his catch-phrases.
His views, and those of many of his counterparts in other European countries, may be unpalatable to the liberal political mainstream, but they clearly struck a chord among a portion of the population which is increasingly unsettled by the growing number of immigrants to Europe.
Around ten percent of the population of the Netherlands is defined as being of non-Western origin. Italy has an estimated 1.5 million immigrants mostly from Morrocco, Albania and Romania. The number of foreign born nationals in Germany has been put as high as 7 million.
After a period of gentle decline during the 1990s, net migration to Europe is on the rise again and governments are struggling to work out policies to address the issue. Many are now concentrating on schemes to try to integrate new arrivals better, through language classes and cultural awareness programmes. But the positive benefits of such schemes take time to filter through and, in the meantime, politicians with anti-immigrant views are gaining ground.
Rachel Harvey, BBC.