2010 Belgian federal election

Federal elections were held in Belgium on 13 June 2010,[1] during the midst of the 2007-11 Belgian political crisis. After the fall of the previous Leterme II Government over the withdrawal of Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats (Open VLD) from the government the King dissolved the legislature and called new elections. The New Flemish Alliance, led by Bart De Wever, emerged as the plurality party with 27 seats, just one more than the francophone Socialist Party, led by Elio Di Rupo, which was the largest party in the Wallonia region and Brussels.[2] It took a world record 541 days until a government was formed, resulting in a government led by Di Rupo.[3]

2010 Belgian federal election
Belgium
← 2007 13 June 2010 (2010-06-13) 2014 →

All 150 seats in the Chamber of Representatives
76 seats needed for a majority
40 of 71 seats in the Senate
Turnout89.22%
Party Leader % Seats +/–
Chamber of Representatives
N-VA Bart De Wever 17.40% 27 +22
PS Elio Di Rupo 13.70% 26 +6
CD&V Marianne Thyssen 10.85% 17 -8
MR Didier Reynders 9.28% 18 -5
sp.a Caroline Gennez 9.24% 13 -1
Open Vld Alexander De Croo 8.64% 13 -5
VB Bruno Valkeniers 7.76% 12 -5
cdH Benoît Lutgen 5.52% 9 -1
Ecolo Jean-Michel Javaux
Sarah Turine
4.80% 8 0
Groen Wouter Van Besien 4.38% 5 +1
LDD Jean-Marie Dedecker 3.74% 1 -4
PP Mischaël Modrikamen 1.29% 1 New
Senate
N-VA Bart De Wever 19.61% 9 +8
PS Elio Di Rupo 13.62% 7 +3
CD&V Marianne Thyssen 9.99% 4 -4
sp.a Caroline Gennez 9.48% 4 0
MR Didier Reynders 9.27% 4 -2
Open Vld Alexander De Croo 8.24% 4 -1
VB Bruno Valkeniers 7.60% 3 -2
Ecolo Jean-Michel Javaux
Sarah Turine
5.46% 2 0
cdH Benoît Lutgen 5.13% 2 0
Groen Wouter Van Besien 3.89% 1 0
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.
Belgian federal election 2010 map en nobackground.png
Colours denote the party receiving a plurality of votes per electoral canton * CD&V and N-VA were in a Cartel during the 2007 election; results shown for CD&V were for both parties during the 2007 election.
Federal Government before Federal Government after
Yves Leterme.jpg Leterme II Government Di Rupo GovernmentDi Rupo cropped.jpg

Yves Leterme served as the caretaker prime minister of the country for the period that it had no official government.[4]

BackgroundEdit

Fall of the governmentEdit

Following a continued lack of agreement over how to resolve the conflict over the electoral arrondissement of Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde, the liberal Open VLD left the government on 22 April 2010, continuing the 2007–2011 Belgian political crisis. Prime Minister Yves Leterme (Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams, CD&V) immediately offered his resignation to King Albert II, who accepted it on 26 April 2010. Following the elections held on 13 June, there were fears that coalition-building may take so long that Belgium's presidency of the Council of the European Union, which starts on 1 July 2010, might have to start under a caretaker government.[5][6][7]

Constitutionality of electionsEdit

According to a statement by the Flemish President of the Constitutional Court, Marc Bossuyt, the elections might be ruled unconstitutional unless the Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde arrondissement is split up beforehand.[8][9][10][11][12] On 4 May, all but one Flemish judge-president of the 13 Flemish Courts of First Instance wrote a collective letter, saying that the elections cannot be held with the current electoral districts and that a return to the previous electoral arrondissements is necessary.[13] In contrast, Ghislain Londers, the president of the Court of Cassation declared that all judges are obliged to cooperate with the electoral process. Before the judges' letters, former president of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives Herman De Croo stated that no court could prevent the elections from taking place.[12]

Importance of electionsEdit

The international media saw the election as crucial to determine the future of the country, even though it was admitted that devolution would not happen immediately.[14]

DateEdit

The parliament was dissolved by Declaration of Revision of the Constitution on 7 May 2010 and elections were called by royal order of the same day.[15] The period with rules and limits on campaign spending (sperperiode), which normally runs three months prior to election day, started that day.

Voting occurred on Sunday 13 June 2010 between 08:00 and 13:00 in polling stations with paper ballots, and between 08:00 and 15:00 in those with electronic voting.

The newly elected parliament was to convene on 6 July 2010.

PartiesEdit

 
The primary six Flemish political parties and their results for the House of Representatives (Kamer). From 1978 to 2014, in percentages for the complete 'Kingdom'.

Flemish parties (Dutch speaking)Edit

These Flemish parties field candidates in the regions of Flanders and the partially bilingual electoral district Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde.

Walloon parties (French speaking)Edit

These Francophone parties fielded candidates in the region of Wallonia and in the electoral district Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde.

CandidatesEdit

Leterme stepped aside on 28 April 2010 and was replaced as leader of CD&V by Marianne Thyssen.[16]

Notable newcomers in politics:

PollsEdit

As of May 26, it appeared that the major development in the election was the surge in popularity of the N-VA in Flanders. Led by Bart De Wever, it supports eventual independence for Flanders, and an immediate switch from a federal Belgium to a confederal Belgium. The N-VA replaces the CD&V of outgoing PM Yves Leterme as the most popular party in Flanders. This development opens the question of how the francophone parties might react to forming a government with an openly sovereigntist, but politically centrist party if they do win a plurality of votes in Flanders. It appeared that the N-VA had attracted some popularity from the ethnic nationalist party, Vlaams Belang.[18]

Flemish constituency Francophone constituency
Date Source CD&V N-VA Open VLD SP–A VB Groen! LDD PS MRFDF CDH Ecolo FN PP RWF
10 June 2007 2007 election 29.6% 18.8% 16.3% 19.0% 6.3% 6.5% 29.5% 31.2% 15.8% 12.8% 5.6% / /
29 March 2010 La Libre Belgique[19] 20.0% 17.8% 13.8% 15.5% 17.3% 8.1% 5.5% 31.7% 20.5% 15.5% 20.2% / 4.3% /
4 May 2010 l'Avenir[20] 18.9% 22.9% 14.8% 14.2% 12.5% 7.9% 3.9% 32.5% 21.1% 18.2% 17.6% 2.9% <1% 2.0%
26 May 2010 Dimarso[21] 19.5% 26.0% 12.4% 16.0% 10.3% 7.8% 5.4%
28 May 2010 l'Avenir[22] 33.0% 20.4% 17.0% 17.6% 2.5% 1.9% 1.9%
4 June 2010 Standaard/VRT[23] 19.0% 25.2% 13.9% 13.8% 11.5% 8.2% 6.2%
June 2010 La Libre Belgique[24] 16.2% 26% 13.6% 16.3% 15% 6.8% 4.3% 30% 20.2% 16.1% 18.9% 4.1% 4.1% /

ResultsEdit

After polls showed the N-VA receiving 29% of votes in their region, media interpreted the election as a "victory for Flemish independence".[25] The following tables contain percentages on the national level (i.e. the result of N-VA is 17.4% on the national level, while it is 27.8% on the regional level).

Chamber of RepresentativesEdit

 
PartyVotes%+/–Seats+/–
New Flemish Alliance1,135,61717.40N/A27+22
Parti Socialiste894,54313.70+2.8426+6
Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams707,98610.85N/A17–8
Mouvement Réformateur605,6179.28–3.2418–5
Socialistische Partij Anders602,8679.24N/A13–1
Open Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten563,8738.64–3.1913–5
Vlaams Belang506,6977.76–4.2312–5
Centre démocrate humaniste360,4415.52–0.539–1
Ecolo313,0474.80–0.3180
Groen!285,9894.38+0.405+1
Lijst Dedecker150,5772.31–1.721–4
Workers' Party of Belgium101,0881.55+0.7000
People's Party84,0051.29New1New
Wallonie d'Abord36,6420.56New0New
Rassemblement Wallonie France35,7430.55+0.1500
National Front33,5910.51–1.450–1
Front des gauches20,7340.32New0New
BELG.UNIE20,6650.32New0New
Front National+11,5530.18New0New
Pro Bruxsel7,2010.11New0New
Left Socialist Party6,7910.10New0New
Parti Pensionné PP6,6880.10New0New
Vivant6,2110.10+0.0100
Wallon+5,8570.09New0New
EGALITE5,6700.09New0New
RESPECT5,6300.09New0New
Mouvement socialiste plus2,8270.04New0New
MP Éducation2,5720.04+0.0200
Vital2,2590.03+0.0100
Pirate Party2,2000.03New0New
Vrijheid1,5760.02New0New
N6100.01New0New
Total6,527,367100.001500
Valid votes6,527,36794.19
Invalid/blank votes402,4885.81
Total votes6,929,855100.00
Registered voters/turnout7,767,55289.22
Source: IBZ

DetailsEdit

Results by party (seats)Edit
Region Seats won per party Total seats
Constituency N-VA CD&V SP.A VLD VB GROEN! LDD
 
Flanders
  Antwerp
8 / 24
4 / 24
3 / 24
3 / 24
4 / 24
2 / 24
N/A
24 / 88
  B.H.V.
3 / 9
2 / 9
1 / 9
2 / 9
1 / 9
N/A N/A
9 / 88
  East Flanders
6 / 20
3 / 20
3 / 20
4 / 20
3 / 20
1 / 20
N/A
20 / 88
  Leuven
2 / 7
1 / 7
1 / 7
1 / 7
1 / 7
1 / 7
N/A
7 / 88
  Limburg
4 / 12
3 / 12
2 / 12
1 / 12
2 / 12
N/A N/A
12 / 88
  West Flanders
4 / 16
4 / 16
3 / 16
2 / 16
1 / 16
1 / 16
1 / 16
16 / 88
Total
27 / 88
17 / 88
13 / 88
13 / 88
12 / 88
5 / 88
1 / 88
88 / 88
PS MR CDH ECOLO PP
 
Wallonia
  B.H.V.
4 / 13
5 / 13
2 / 13
2 / 13
N/A
13 / 62
  Hainaut
11 / 19
4 / 19
2 / 19
2 / 19
N/A
19 / 62
  Liège
7 / 15
4 / 15
2 / 15
2 / 15
N/A
15 / 62
  Luxembourg
1 / 4
1 / 4
2 / 4
N/A N/A
4 / 62
  Namur
2 / 6
2 / 6
1 / 6
1 / 6
N/A
6 / 62
  Walloon Brabant
1 / 5
2 / 5
N/A
1 / 5
1 / 5
5 / 62
Total
26 / 62
18 / 62
9 / 62
8 / 62
1 / 62
62 / 62
Results by electoral constituencies (percentages)Edit
Region % won per party
Constituency N-VA CD&V SP.A VLD VB GROEN! LDD Others
Flanders Antwerp 30.71 15.53 14.32 11.03 16.15 7.69 2.29 2.28
B.H.V. 12.23 6.94 4.64 7.17 5.03 *
East Flanders 28.15 15.40 14.15 17.40 12.33 7.36 3.19 2.04
Leuven 27.05 16.26 17.79 14.51 9.61 9.79 3.14 1.86
Limburg 28.83 18.81 18.14 12.10 12.79 4.81 2.89 1.62
West Flanders 23.89 23.01 15.13 13.53 9.07 6.31 7.67 1.27
PS MR CDH ECOLO PP
Wallonia B.H.V. 16.74 19.17 8.07 7.99 12.01*
Hainaut 48.18 17.52 11.47 9.41 2.75 10.67
Liège 35.79 22.30 13.93 13.83 3.08 11.07
Luxembourg 28.49 19.54 31.41 11.71 2.44 6.41
Namur 32.20 24.65 15.92 13.38 3.12 10.73
Walloon Brabant 22.48 35.79 12.89 16.33 5.04 7.47

SenateEdit

 
PartyVotes%+/–Seats+/–
New Flemish Alliance1,268,78019.61N/A9+8
Parti Socialiste880,82813.62+3.377+3
Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams646,3759.99N/A4–4
Socialistische Partij Anders613,0799.48N/A40
Mouvement Réformateur599,6189.27–3.044–2
Open Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten533,1248.24–4.164–1
Vlaams Belang491,5477.60–4.293–2
Ecolo353,1115.46–0.3620
Centre démocrate humaniste331,8705.13–0.7720
Groen!251,5463.89+0.2510
Lijst Dedecker130,7792.02–1.360–1
Workers' Party of Belgium105,0601.62+0.8000
People's Party98,8581.53New0New
Wallonie d'Abord62,2510.96New0New
Rassemblement Wallonie France40,3930.62+0.1400
Front des gauches28,3460.44New0New
Vivant15,4620.24New0New
Left Socialist Party7,8410.12New0New
Committee for Another Policy6,2540.10–0.1000
Mouvement socialiste plus3,9810.06New0New
Total6,469,103100.00400
Valid votes6,469,10393.36
Invalid/blank votes460,3756.64
Total votes6,929,478100.00
Registered voters/turnout7,767,55289.21
Source: IBZ

Chamber of Representatives (geographically)Edit

These maps depict the largest party in each constituency.

Dutch-speaking constituenciesEdit

         
Legend:

  •   N-VA  
  •   CD&V  
  •   sp.a  
  •   Open Vld  
  •   MR  

Brussels, French- & German-speaking constituenciesEdit

           
Legend:

Most popular candidatesEdit

Candidates receiving the highest number of preferential votes.

For the Senate:[26] For the Chamber:[27]
  • 203,758 votes (28.19% of the constituency of Hainaut) for Elio Di Rupo,   PS  
  • 101,940 votes (10.67% of the constituency of East Flanders) for Siegfried Bracke,   N-VA  
  • 101,830 votes (12.97% of the constituency of West Flanders) for Yves Leterme,   CD&V  
  • 78.951 votes (7.20% of the constituency of Antwerp) for Inge Vervotte,   CD&V  
  • 72.194 votes (11.92% of the Constituency of Liège) for Michel Daerden,   PS  

Government formationEdit

On possible coalitions, election winner Bart De Wever announced he would seek negotiations with the Francophone Socialist Party.[28] The Socialist Party leader Elio di Rupo was tapped to become the next Prime Minister, because the socialist parties emerged as the largest "party family" in the elections, and because the New Flemish Alliance lacks a Francophone counterpart.[29][30][31]

Philip Blenkinsop of Reuters stated that the win of the New Flemish Alliance could have negative effects because "Belgium can ill afford drawn-out coalition talks because it has a large debt and any policy paralysis could make the country vulnerable on financial markets that are closely watching a sovereign debt crisis."[32]

Coalition formation continued for a record-breaking 541 days, with a government under Elio De Rupo eventually being formed on 6 December 2011 after agreement was reached on the 2012 budget. The Di Rupo I Government includes the Liberal, Socialist and Christian Democratic parties from both Flanders and Wallonia. The government excludes the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), the Greens of Groen and Ecolo, the right of Vlaams Belang, the Lijst Dedecker and the People's Party. N-VA's absence, together with the unwillingness of Open Vld to enter into an eight-party coalition that included the green parties, means the government coalition lacks a majority in the Dutch language group. It is the first time that the Belgian prime minister has been openly gay and the world's first male openly gay head of government[33] Belgium is thus the second European country to have a homosexual prime minister, after Iceland (Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir). Elio Di Rupo is the first native French-speaking prime minister since 1979 and the first Walloon prime minister since 1974.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "It's a June 13th election". deredactie.be. 2010-05-05. Archived from the original on 2010-05-14. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
  2. ^ Zuvela, Matt and Connor, Richard (13 June 2010). Party supporting Belgian division claims election victory. Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  3. ^ The Daily Telegraph
  4. ^ Mulvey, Stephen (2011-06-13). "Life without government, the Belgian way". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  5. ^ "Belgium's government falls, future unity on line". Montreal Gazette. 2010-04-26. Archived from the original on 29 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-01.
  6. ^ "Belgium's king accepts government's resignation". Irish Examiner. 2010-04-26. Retrieved 2010-05-01.
  7. ^ "Belgischer König akzeptiert Rücktritt von Regierungschef" (in German). Nzz.ch. 2010-04-26. Archived from the original on 29 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-01.
  8. ^ "Regierung Leterme endgültig gescheitert" (in German). Derstandard.at. 2010-04-26. Archived from the original on 29 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-01.
  9. ^ "Verkiezingen 2009 ongrondwettelijk zonder oplossing BHV" (in Dutch). De Morgen. 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
  10. ^ "Geen verkiezingen zonder oplossing BHV" (in Dutch). Vrtnieuws.net. 2007-11-13. Archived from the original on 14 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-13.
  11. ^ "Zonder oplossing BHV geen grondwettelijke verkiezingen" (in Dutch). De Standaard. 2007-11-13. Archived from the original on 14 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
  12. ^ a b "Marc Bossuyt entame sa présidence en force" (in French). La Libre Belgique. 2007-11-14. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
  13. ^ "Rechters hebben de plicht mee te werken aan verkiezingen" (in Dutch). Hbvl.be. 2010-05-04. Archived from the original on 7 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
  14. ^ "Unity at stake in Belgium vote - Europe". Al Jazeera English. Archived from the original on 15 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
  15. ^ 7 MEI 2010. - Koninklijk besluit houdende bijeenroeping van de kiescolleges voor de verkiezing van de federale Wetgevende Kamers en bijeenroeping van de nieuwe federale Wetgevende Kamers
  16. ^ "Belgian leader steps aside, early election ahead". foxnews.com. Associated Press. 28 April 2010. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  17. ^ Bio Eva Brems – Groen! Archived 2010-06-11 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 2010-06-14
  18. ^ Jean Quatremer (2010-05-26). "Belgique: les indépendantistes flamands ont le vent en poupe" (in French). Liberation. Archived from the original on 28 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  19. ^ Auteur: loa (2009-04-30). "De Standaard Online - N-VA tweede grootste in peiling La Libre-RTL". Standaard.be. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
  20. ^ Elections: Vers l'Avenir polls N-VA first in Flanders (in French), L'Écho, 4
  21. ^ Elections: N-VA polls at 26%, first party in Flanders (in French), La DH, 27
  22. ^ [1][dead link]
  23. ^ TNS-Media/Dimarso poll ordered by De Standaard and VRT, 4
  24. ^ IPSOS poll ordered by La Libre Belgique, Francophone results only for Wallonia, the francophone poll for Brussels is not included in these results, June
  25. ^ "Belgique: victoire large et historique des indépendantistes flamands - Libération". Liberation.fr. Archived from the original on 15 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
  26. ^ Senate
  27. ^ Chamber
  28. ^ Keine Lösung des Sprachenstreits in Sicht. No solution for language dispute Archived 2010-06-16 at the Wayback Machine (in German). orf.at. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  29. ^ Fallon, Amy (14 June 2010). Belgian election win for party that wants to split nation. The Guardian. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  30. ^ Erdrutschsieg für flämische Separatisten. Landslide victory for flemish separatists (in German). Der Standard. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  31. ^ Belgian elections: who could be next prime minister?. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  32. ^ Blenkinsop, Philip. "Separatists claim victory in Belgian election". Leaderpost.com. Archived from the original on 19 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
  33. ^ Jackson, Patrick. "Profile: Belgium's Elio Di Rupo". BBC. Retrieved 8 December 2011.

External linksEdit