Socialists crash in shock Belgian poll

The first opinion poll of the year from Belgium’s Dedicated agency, published late last night, is only the second nationwide survey in 2017 that covers all three main components of the country (Flanders, Wallonia and the Brussels capital district).


Belgian flag flying in Brussels. Photo: Andrew Cornwell. All rights reserved.


Since Dedicated’s last research in December, there have been some striking movements in two of the three communities. Notably in Wallonia, a slump in the socialists’ (PS) support has sent them crashing five points into a narrow third place behind the liberal MR and the Workers’ Party (PTB). The Greens (Ecolo) add two points to reach 11.2 per cent. The socialists’ travails, caused in large part by the Publifin scandal, place them a long way behind the 32 per cent score they secured in the May 2014 contest for Wallonia’s 48 seats in the Federal Chamber of Representatives. The hard-left PTB, which gained just 5.5 per cent in that election, continue to strengthen, reaching their best-ever score of 20.5 per cent.

Such was the shake-up in the top three positions – and the closeness of the margin between PS and PTB (0.2 per cent) – that pollsters Dedicated carried out a second set of interviews before releasing figures. However this doubling of the sample size did nothing to change the results.

In the capital, the Greens are also on the charge moving from 11.3 to 13.1 per cent. However it is the PTB-PVDA which shows proportionately the best gain, moving up by half from 9.6 to 14.1 per cent. In May 2014 they took just 3.8 per cent in the battle for Brussels’ 15 seats. In contrast to Wallonia, the PS and MR hold steady in the first two places.

The very different set of parties contesting Flanders’ 87 Federal seats are mainly little moved, except for the biggest two. Mainstream nationalist NVA is up two points to 28.3 per cent, moving closer to its election score of 32.4 per cent, while the second placed Christian Democrat CDV falls by a similar amount to 14.1 per cent (versus 18.6 in 2014).


Federal voting intentions, per cent (change on December):

Mouvement Réformateur (MR) 22.7 (-0.4)
Parti du Travail (PTB) 20.5 (+2.1)
Parti Socialiste (PS) 20.3 (-5.1)
Ecologistes (Ecolo) 11.2 (+2.0)
Centre Démocrate Humaniste (CDH) 9.9 (+0.5)
Droite Citoyenne (DC) 3.2 (+1.5)
Démocrate Fédéraliste Indépendant (Défi) 3.0 (+0.8)
Parti Populaire (PP) 2.2 (-1.8)
Others 7.0 (+0.4)

Federal voting intentions, per cent (change on December):

Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (NVA) 28.3 (+2.0)
Christen-Democratisch & Vlaams (CDV) 14.1 (-2.2)
Open Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten (Open VLD) 13.6 (+1.2)
Socialistische Partij.Anders (SP.A) 12.9 (-0.3)
Vlaams Belang (VB) 11.9 (-0.4)
De Vlaamse Groenen (Groen) 11.5 (-1.2)
Partij van de Arbeid (PVDA) 5.5 (+1.3)
Piraten [Pirate Party] 1.4 (nc)
Others 0.8 (-0.4)

Federal voting intentions, per cent (change on December):

PS 20.1 (-0.3)
MR 18.7 (-0.3)
PTB/PVDA 14.1 (+4.5)
Ecolo 13.1 (+1.8)
Défi 10.4 (nc)
CDH 6.0 (-1.0)
Flemish parties 15.2 (-1.8)
Others 2.4 (-2.9)

Fieldwork: 16.03-20.3.2017. Released: 24.03.2017. Participants: 2898. Media partners: RTBF, La Libre.


Image: Belgian flag flying in Brussels. Photo: Andrew Cornwell. All rights reserved.


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