N-VA wins General Election

Bart De Wever's Flemish nationalist party, the N-VA, is the big winner of Sunday's elections for the Federal Parliament. Mr De Wever's party picked up 27seats making the N-VA the largest party in Flanders and Belgium.

The N-VA favours Flemish independence, but acknowledges that this will not be achieved over night. It sees a confederal model as a staging post on the way to achieving this goal. Under the confederal model the two federated states decide for themselves what they still want to do together.

Something surprising happened in Belgium on Sunday: the pollsters got it right. The N-VA victory predicted in the polls materialised and the Flemish nationalists squeezed all other parties.

The biggest losses were incurred by Marianne Thyssen's Flemish Christian democrats and the far right Vlaams Belang.

Polling 27.8% of the popular vote across Flanders N-VA is by far the largest party in northern Belgium. It now has 27 seats (up 19) in the Chamber of Representatives.

Its nearest Flemish rival, the Flemish Christian democrats, polled 17.3% of the vote and now hold 17 seats (down 6). This is the worst ever score for Flemish Christian democracy.

Political map redrawn

The N-VA victory is a landslide. The political map of Flanders and Belgium has been redrawn over night.

Three years ago the N-VA was the junior partner in an alliance with the Christian democrats and in the Flemish elections of 2008 polled 13%. The party still has to celebrate its tenth birthday.

The results for all other parties are bad to very bad. Only the ecologists of Groen! managed to maintain their position. Groen! polled a 6.9% share (up 0.6%) of the vote taking 5 seats (up 1).

For the Christian democrats it was a bad night.  An accurate comparison with 2007 is difficult because of the alliance with N-VA. For the Christian democrats Sunday's score was the worst in its history. In many places this natural party of government is now in second position behind the N-VA.

Liberals bumped down the pegging

The socialists were one of the parties that managed to maintain their position best. SP.A secured 14.6% of the vote - a slight decrease in comparison with 2007 and 13 seats (down 1).

The Open VLD liberals are in fourth position with a 13.6% share across Flanders, a decrease of 5.2%. The Open VLD now has 13 seats (down 5).

The far right Vlaams Belang incurred heavy losses losing 6.7 percentage points and falling back on a 12.3% share. The right wing liberal LDD (Lijst Dedecker) has practically been annihilated. The party only reached the 5% threshold needed to pick up seats in West Flanders. Its score of support across Flanders is 3.7%. The party has one seat (down 4).

Meanwhile down South...

Sunday was a good night for Elio Di Rupo's Parti Socialiste. The PS secured a 37.6% share of the vote in Wallonia and 26 seats (up 6) making the Francophone socialists the country's second largest party and strengthening Mr Di Rupo’s chances of becoming the new Premier. The socialists, north and south combined, are now the country's premier political force.

The Francophone liberals incurred the heaviest losses ending the night on 18 seats (down 5). They polled 22.2% in Wallonia.

There were slight losses for the Francophone Christian democrat CDH: 9 seats (down 1).

The greens of Ecolo maintained their position: 8 seats (no change). The new People's Party won one seat.