Christian democrats extend their lead in the polls

According to a poll carried out on behalf of the VRT and the daily ‘De Standaard’, Flemish Prime Minister Kris Peeters's Christian Democrats have a commanding lead in the polls three weeks before the regional and European elections. Just over a thousand Flemings were questioned on their voting intentions. The telephone poll was carried out in the period between 29 April and 12 May.
With 22%, the Christian democrats are up a full 1.5% up on the last VRT/De Standaard poll in February.

The party gained 30.9% in the last federal elections and 26.6% in the last Flemish elections, although then it was in an electoral alliance with the Flemish nationalist party NV-A

Flemish liberals lose ground

The main Flemish liberal party Open VLD is down 1.7% on February’s poll.

The controversy surrounding the double defection of the Leuven MP Dirk Vijnck (photo) hasn’t done the party any good.

Mr Vynck first (re-)joined Open VLD from the right-leaning liberal party Lijst Dedecker before returning to Jean-Marie’s Dedecker’s party a couple of weeks latter.
To make matters worse for Open VLD, Mr Vijnck managed to obtain a written guarantee of either a seat in parliament or another job on the same pay from the party's Chairman Bart Somers.

Open VLD now has 17.6% in the polls, down 1.6% on the federal elections and 2.4% on last Flemish elections in 2004.

Far-right one third down on 2004

The far-right Vlaams Belang will have mixed feelings about the poll.

Although the party has gained 0.8% since February’s poll, it is down 3.1% on the federal elections.

Vlaams Belang now enjoys the support of 16.2% of Flemings.

This is a far cry from the 24.3% of the popular vote the party obtained in 2004.

Socialists unable to profit from crisis

The Flemish socialists continue to languish below 15% in the polls.

14.2% of those expressing a party preference said that they intended to vote socialist.

This is 0.2% down on February and a full 1.5% down on the already poor result the party obtained with its alliance partner Spirit in the 2007 federal  elections.

Most worrying of all for Caroline Gennez’s party is that it is down 5.7% on its score at the last Flemish elections in 2004.

Although, it does need to be said that party was then in an alliance with the progressive regionalists from Spirit.

Lijst Dedecker down

As with Open VLD, the Vijnck affair hasn’t done the right-leaning liberal party Lijst Dedecker any favours.

The party is down 1.3% on February’s poll and now enjoys the support of 10.5% of  Flemings.

However, this is well up on the 6.6% the party got in the 2007 federal elections.

Onward and upwards for the greens

The Flemish Greens have continued their rise in the polls.

9.2% of those expressing a preference said that they intend to vote Green on June 7.

This is up 2.1% on February and a 2.8% on the federal elections.

More significantly, the Flemish greens are now 1.6% up on the 7.6% they gained in the 2004 Flemish elections.

Flemish nationalists down but not out

With 7.3% in our poll, the Flemish Nationalist party N-VA is well down on the 10.1% it polled in February.

However, the party will be pleased to see that it is well above the 5% electoral threshold and would at the very least be able send the same number of representatives to the Flemish Parliament as it did when it stood on a common slate with its then alliance partner the Christian democrats.

Social liberals still have a mountain to climb

Although the social-liberal party has almost trebled its score since February’s poll, it still has a mountain to climb if it is to be represented in the next Flemish Parliament.

The party now enjoys the support of 1.9% of those expressing a party preference.

However, this is still well below the 5% electoral threshold.