"Walloon and Brussels governments to blame for N-VA win"

South of the linguistic divide the victory of the Flemish nationalist N-VA in northern Belgium led to bickering among Francophone parties as they searched for an explanation for the phenomenon.

Charles Michel's liberals of MR claim that the success of the N-VA is due to the failure of the Brussels and Walloon governments to bring economic success to the two regions. Mr Michel pointed to the unemployment figures in Brussels and Wallonia and insisted that a real leap forward was needed and not the umpteenth plan. Brussels and Walloon government parties rejected this analysis.

Mr Michel added: "You shouldn't attempt to convince people that the N-VA will disappear by miracle in 2014."

Several French-speaking politicians have also been keen to minimalise the importance of the win suggesting that the local elections won't have an impact on national politics.

Francophone socialist Thierry Giet: "The growth of the N-VA in Antwerp is a fact, but it's not so pronounced elsewhere. BDW tried to turn the local elections into a national test, but I'm assured many Flemish people voted out of local concerns."

Benoît Lutgen of the Francophone Christian democrats spoke of the need for a strong project for Brusselers, Walloons and German-speakers.

Olivier Maingain of the Francophone Democrats of FDF said the south had voted for local issues, while in the north of the country this was a national test: "N-VA's victory is a defeat for the federal government parties."

Olivier Deleuze of the Francophone greens of Ecolo noted that without an agreement on the splitting of the Brussels Halle Vilvoorde Constituency there wouldn't have been a Belgium and attacked the Francophone liberals for blaming the regions where they are on the opposition benches.