New lows for both Belgium’s socialist parties

With no national opinion poll appearing for over three months, the liberal Mouvement Réformateur (MR) party has taken the initiative and commissioned a survey from Dedicated (usual pollsters for RTBF and La Libre). The money has been well spent in one sense as the headline findings make sensational news: socialist parties in both language communities have plumbed new lows with leftists, greens and regionalists profiting.

It is in the capital territory that the PS suffers its most serious damage, losing nearly half its support and plummeting to just 10.9 per cent. Suddenly the socialists find themselves in fifth place in Brussels as financial scandals continue to take their toll on public support. In Wallonia the PS loses a fifth of its support to fall to 16 per cent, its lowest score during this parliamentary term, which began in May 2014. In Flanders sister party the SP.A is down to 9.5 per cent, its first single-figure poll since the last election.

The left-wing PTB or Workers’ Party are the beneficiaries from the socialists’ troubles in Wallonia, picking up 4.4 points to lead the polls in that region for the first time. The Flemish wing of that party gains less, moving up to 7.7 per cent, but this is still its best poll for many years and three times its 2014 election score of 2.8 per cent. The Greens are also up a point in Flanders.

Walloon regionalists Défi must be pinching themselves to believe a total of 15.7 per cent of voting intentions in Brussels, up an incredible 5.2 points since March – enough to move them into second position. In Wallonia itself, they advance to 3.9 per cent.

As for the MR party itself, instigators of the poll, they move up modestly in Wallonia and more sharply in Brussels. Publisher of the findings, business paper L’Echo, firmly denies any bias and instead takes a swipe at RTBF and La Libre for the non-appearance of their regular survey.


WALLONIA Dedicated
Federal voting intentions, per cent
(change on 24 March)

Parti du Travail (PTB) 24.9 (+4.4)
Mouvement Réformateur (MR) 23.2 (+0.5)
Parti Socialiste (PS) 16.0 (-4.3)
Ecologistes (Ecolo) 11.4 (+0.2)
Centre Démocrate Humaniste (CDH) 9.8 (-0.1)
Démocrate Fédéraliste Indépendant (Défi) 3.9 (+0.9)
Parti Populaire (PP) 2.6 (+0.4)
Others 8.2 (-2.0)


FLANDERS Dedicated
Federal voting intentions, per cent
(change on 24 March)

Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA) 27.1 (-1.2)
Christen-Democratisch & Vlaams (CD&V) 16.9 (+2.8)
Open Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten (Open VLD) 12.7 (-0.9)
De Vlaamse Groenen (Groen) 12.5 (+1.0)
Vlaams Belang (VB) 11.7 (-0.2)
Socialistische Partij.Anders (SP.A) 9.5 (-3.4)
Partij van de Arbeid (PVDA) 7.3 (+1.8)
Others 0.7 (-1.5)


BRUSSELS Dedicated
Federal voting intentions, per cent
(change on 24 March)

MR 20.7 (+2.0)
Défi 15.7 (+5.2)
PTB/PVDA 14.1 (nc)
Ecolo 12.5 (-0.6)
PS 10.9 (-9.2)
CDH 7.9 (+1.9)
Flemish parties 14.8 (-0.4)
Others 3.4 (+1.0)


Fieldwork: 23.06-27.06.2017. Released: 01.07.2017. Participants: 909. Media partner: L’Echo. Note March poll carried out for RTBF and La Libre.


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