15 December 2003
BRUSSELS – The Flemish Socialists (SP.A Spirit) hold a quarter of the region’s electoral preference, according to a new opinion poll, while the far right Vlaams Blok continues to gain ground.
The quarterly poll, conducted by newspapers La Libre Belgique and Het Laatste Nieuws, and television stations VTM and RTL-TVi, placed SP.A leader Steve Stevaert as the most popular politician in Flanders.
The Flemish Socialists have taken over the top spot from the VLD Liberal party, according to the information gathered from 2,000 participants.
The Socialists are also the most popular party in Wallonia, with the PS obtaining 37.7 percent of voting intentions, and its leader Elio Di Rupo holding on to his position as most popular politician with 44 percent of preferences, his largest ever margin.
The Francophone Liberals (MR) scored 28.3 percent in Wallonia, while on the other side of the linguistic divide, the VLD is at 23.4 percent.
The Christian Democrat opposition party CD&V lost further ground, now at 20.3 percent, only slightly ahead of the far right anti-immigrant party Vlaams Blok, which increased its support to 19.4 percent.
Vlaams Blok leader, Filip De Winter, was also voted third most popular politician in Flanders after Stevaert and Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt.
The Flemish green party and the nationalist N-VA remain under the 5 percent election threshold, while the francophone greens, Ecolo, came in at 6.4 percent.
[Copyright Expatica News 2003]
Subject: Belgian news