De Wever most popular politician

Flemish nationalist leader Bart De Wever is the most popular politician in the land. Standing for the Senate he polled 764,904 preferential votes. His total is just shy of the 796,521 preferential votes of Prime Minister Yves Leterme (Flemish Christian democrat) in the 2007 poll.

Everybody in Flanders and in Brussels can vote for the same candidates for the Senate.

The Christian democrats' Marianne Thyssen is second with 314,850 votes.

Liberal leader Alexander De Croo (288,235) finished third. Filip Dewinter of the far right Vlaams Belang got 194,107 votes.

Paul Magnette of the Parti Socialiste is the most popular Francophone politician polling 264,167 preferential votes in French-speaking Belgium.

In the smaller provincial constituencies for the Chamber of Representatives former VRT journalist Siegfried Bracke polled 101,940 votes for the Flemish nationalists in East Flanders.

Prime Minister Yves Leterme (Christian democrat) piled up 101,830 votes, a 12.98% share of the vote in West Flanders. That's the highest share of the electorate in any province.

Blank votes

In all some 400,000 people cast a blank vote or spoiled their ballot paper. The figure is up ten percent on 2007. Turnout was 89%, two percent less than in 2007.

Changes at the top: Reynders and Dedecker quit

Several former MPs and senators now have to go in search of a new job. Both Jean-Marie Dedecker of Lijst Dedecker and the outgoing Finance Minister, Didier Reynders of the Francophone liberal MR, have announced their intention to quit as party leader.

Mr Reynders’s MR is no longer the largest party in French-speaking Belgium. The Francophone liberal has served as Belgian Finance Minister for ten years and has led his party for six.