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Thread: Political make-up of Belgium by province

  1. #1
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    Post Political make-up of Belgium by province



    The Belgian municipal and provincial elections, occuring every 6 years, took place this Sunday 8th October. They give a good indication on the divergences between the smallest constituencies of the country, but also by province. Each of the 5 main parties can give a good indication on the kind of persons that make up each province as follow (Flemish, then Wallloon party names in brackets) :

    Socialists (SPA, PS) : leftist, the "poor people's party"; workers and immigrants are its main supporters.

    Greens (Groen, Ecolo) : centre-left party fighting for the protection of the environment.

    Christian-Democrats (CD&V, CDH) : Although the term "Christian" was scrapped in the French part of Belgium for "Humanist", it remains a predominantly centrist, conservative Christian party, with supporters in all social classes, but especially the middle class.

    Liberals (VLD, MR) : A more intellectual and upper-middle class party, it can be considered as centre-right, although as liberal in social as in economic matters. The most liberal party in all regards.

    Far-right (Vlaams Belang, Front National) : the disgruntled people's party, its main aims are too reduce immigration (and expell "bad immigrants"), strengthen the economy and crack down on corruption. Flanders' "Vlaams Belang" also wants the independence of Flanders from Belgium, contrarily to its French-speaking counterpart.

    Here is a brief summary. The big loser of these municipal elections where the Liberals in Flanders, who lost most of their votes to the Christian-Democrats and Far-right.

    Provinces

    Flanders

    West Flanders : dominantly Christian-democrats (38%) in this Belgian fief of Catholicism.
    East Flanders : Christian-democrats leading (28%), followed by the Liberals and Far-right (each 21%).
    Antwerp : the only province where the far-right is leading (29%), followed by the Christian-democrats (26%).
    Flemish Brabant : Christian-democrats leading (29%), followed by the Liberals and Far-right (each 19%).
    Limburg : Christian-democrats majority (32%), followed by the highest percentage of Socialists in Flanders (25.5%).

    Wallonia

    Hainaut : 38% Socialist majority for this industrial region of Belgium, followed by the Liberals (23%).
    Walloon Brabant : Strong Liberal majority (42%) for this bourgeois suburb of Brussels.
    Namur : Liberals and Socialists at a draw (28%), followed by the Christian-Democrats (23%) and Greens (14.5%).
    Liege : Socialist majority (33%), followed by the Liberals (23%).
    Luxembourg : good balance between Christian-Democrats (32%), Liberals (30%) and Socialists (25%).

    We notice that Liberals are popular eveywhere, but Flanders is much more Christian-democrats and Far-right, while Wallonia is still dominated by the Socialists.

    The political landscape of the federal capital is the most interesting because of the clear division of the municipalities by social class, with poorer immigrants in the centre, west and north and well-to-do upper-middle class suburbs in the east and south (Woluwe, Auderghem, Watermael-Boitsfort, Uccle). Let's also note the much higher concentration of Dutch-speakers in the top north municipalities of Ganshoren, Jette, Berchem and Evere.

    Interestingly the Far-right is very weak in Brussels (rarely more than 10%), despite the fact that Brussels has the highest proportion of poor immigrants (or maybe because of this, as they are allowed to vote too). This is probably due to the "segregation" between rich and poor municipalities. The Far-right got its highest scores in "mixed" municipalities.

    Brussels (by municipality)

    North

    Berchem-Sainte-Agathe : strong Christian-Democrats majority (34%), followed by the Liberals (23%)
    Jette : 32.5% Christian-democrats, followed by the Socialists (19%)
    Ganshoren : 42% Socialist, followed by 25% of Liberals.
    Koekelberg : ?
    Evere : 40% Socialists, followed by 17.5% of Liberals.

    West & Centre

    Anderlecht : the largest municipality of the capital is divided between Socialist (33.5%) and Liberals (35%). Let's note that the Far-right reaches 12%, one of the highest score in Brussels.
    Bruxelles : 31% Socialists, 21.5% Christian-Democrats, 18% Liberals.
    Forest : 40% Liberals, 31% Socialists, 19% Greens.
    Ixelles : 38% Liberals, 23% Greens (highest percentage in Brussels), 21% Socialists.
    Molenbeek-Saint-Jean : 39.5% Socialists, 32% Liberals, 10.5% Far-right.
    Saint-Gilles : 45% Socialists, 19% Greens.
    Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode : 50% Socialists, 16.5% Christian-Democrats.
    Schaerbeek : 41% Liberals, 25% Socialists.

    East & South

    Auderghem : 55% Liberals
    Etterbeek : 48% Liberals, followed by 17% Greens and 16% Christian-democrats.
    Uccle : 45.5% Liberals, 20% Christian-Democrats.
    Watermael-Boitsfort : 36% Liberals, 20% Greens (2nd highest percentage in Brussels)
    Woluwe-Saint-Lambert : ?
    Woluwe-Saint-Pierre : 57.5% Liberals, 23.5% Christian-Democrats.
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    So, which part do you live in Maciamo?
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    Let's also mention that it was the first time that non-EU foreign residents were allowed to vote at local elections in Belgium. The Vlaams Belang blame it on its defeat to the Socialists in Antwerp, which is probably true.

    Another interesting issue is that of the Flemish municipalities around Brussels with a sizeable French-speaking community (sometimes in majority over Dutch-speakers). In some of these municipalities the Union Party of French-speakers have won an absolute majority, like in Kraainem (76.5%), Wezembeek-Oppem (76%), Rhode-Saint-Genèse (64%), Linkebeek (60%). In Drogenbos, the French-speakers Union passed from a tiny minority to 41.5%. This means that these municipalities could join the region of Brussels in the future, as has been previously suggested to resolve the multilingualism issue. Nonetheless, the Flemish municipalities locked just between French-speaking Brussels and the Walloon Brabant, and which would have linked Brussels to Wallonia, have not managed to achieve a French-speaking majority : Overijse (12.5%), Tevuren (21%), Beersel (20%).

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