Leefbaar Nederland took part in the national parliamentary elections for the first time on 15 May 2002 and obtained 2 seats in the lower house.
The Lijsttrekker (head of the list of candidates) from November 2001 was former sociologist and ex-professor, writer, and publicist Pim Fortuyn, a choice that delivered a high rating in opinion polls. On February 10, 2002 however he was discharged on account of controversial comments in an interview published in the Volkskrant newspaper. (Fortuyn then organized his own party.)
On March 10, the Amsterdam public prosecutor Fred Teeven was chosen as new lijsttrekker. The party chairperson is Jan Nagel.
The party stood for a strengthening of the level of democracy in Netherlands society, for example by giving citizens more say through referenda, but also by addressing them on their responsibilities.
The essential points of the election campaign for May 2002 were