Expatica news

Federal coalition facing loss of voter support

26 September 2005

BRUSSELS — If a federal election were held now, the coalition government parties would lose a significant amount of support, a new poll indicated on Monday.

Majority parties the Liberal VLD and Socialist SP.A would lose ground, while the Flemish Interest would strongly increase its representation to 25 percent and Groen! would re-enter Parliament.

The electoral swings were indicated by the three-monthly survey commissioned by newspapers ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ and ‘La Libre’, plus broadcasters VTM and RTL.

Research bureau Ipsos questioned 750 Flemish, 750 Wallonians and 500 Brussels residents between 5 and 15 September to compile the results.
During that period, the federal government argued about the form of an energy rebate paid to consumers and future SP.A leader John vande Lanotte presented his statement of intentions.

Unions and employers also geared up for crucial talks with the government over social security and pensions reform. The poll was held prior to the Charleroi social housing scandal.
In comparison to the results of the 2003 elections, the survey indicates that the VLD would lose 5.8 percent of the vote, slipping back to just 18.4 percent. The Socialists would lose slightly less and end up with 19.9 percent of the vote.

The extreme-right Flemish Interest would gain an extra 8.2 percent of the vote, while the green party Groen! also scored well, boosting its electoral support from 3.8 to 6.9 percent.

The Christian Democrat CD&V would probably improve its representation and remain the largest party, newspaper ‘De Tijd’ reported.

In Wallonia, the Movement Reform party would slip from the 28.4 percent of the vote it obtained at the federal election in 2003 to 24.8 percent.

The CDH would rise from 15.4 to 19.3 percent and the right-wing Front National would rise from 5.6 percent to 8.8 percent.

The leading Socialist PS would dip slightly to 35.8 percent, while the electoral support of Ecolo remained stable.

Meanwhile, Flemish Premier Yves Leterme (CD&V) remained the most popular politician in Flanders, with 34 percent of survey respondents hoping he plays a prominent role in the coming period.

Federal Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt was the second most popular politician, followed by Vande Lanotte.

PS leader Elio di Rupo is the most popular politician in Wallonia, ahead of MR leader Didier Reynders and European commissioner Louis Michel (MR).

The survey had a margin of error of 2.25 percent.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news