The poll was conducted by the VRT and De Standaard between 28 February and 15 March and involved 1,033 respondents. While the N-VA won last June's federal elections in Flanders with 28.2 percent of the votes, the Flemish nationalists do even better in the poll, with 31.5 percent. This is despite the continuing political deadlock.
The popularity of N-VA leader Bart De Wever (photo) accounts for a big part of this success, but research has shown that the success of the N-VA has a broad basis. It can count on very loyal voters and has a lot of potential. Where the N-VA used to get its votes from a right-wing electorate, it is becoming increasingly popular with the Flemish socialists of SP.A.
The Flemish Christian democrats of CD&V confirm their number 2 status with 18.2 percent of the votes. This is a slight decline of 0.6 percent compared to the June elections.
Liberals overtake socialists
The Flemish liberals of Open VLD have gained momentum. While they didn't do too well in a previous poll, the tables seem to have turned. Open VLD takes third position with 14 percent, overtaking the SP.A.
The SP.A cannot draw a profit from the fact that Johan Vande Lanotte worked almost for 100 days as a mediator to reach a compromise. On the contrary, a score of 13.2 percent is 1.7 down on their result last June, and more than 3 down on figures presented in a previous poll.
The Flemish greens of Groen! are gaining ground, climbing to 8.8 percent (1.7 percent up). Far right Vlaams Belang drops to 10.4 percent, while the outspoken right-leaning liberals of LDD have to be content with 2.8 percent, under the threshold of 5 percent.
New elections would not solve anything
Only 17 percent of the respondents said that they would vote for another party than last June. This figure is very modest and indicates that new federal elections would not break the stalemate.
If new elections were to be held, the N-VA and Bart De Wever have a very big chance of clinching a major victory. 88 percent of the people that voted for the N-VA in June 2010, said that they would do this again. This reinforces the position of Mr De Wever in the present political coalition talks.
Moreover, the popularity of Bart De Wever keeps on rising and has climbed to 49 percent. Flemish PM Chris Peeters (CD&V) is on number 2 with 43 percent, followed by Johan Vande Lanotte.