Nationalists’ rise halted?

A new poll carried out on behalf of the VRT and the daily ‘De Standaard’ has shown a drop in support for the Flemish Nationalist party N-VA. The telephone poll was carried out between 29 April and 19 May among a sample of voters across the five Flemish provinces. The percentages listed below are of the 1,084 people questioned that were prepared to express a preference.

According to our poll support for the Flemish nationalist party is at its lowest point since March 2011. Bart De Wever’s party polled 32.1%, down 4.2% on our last poll in September of last year.

However, this is still 3.9% more than the party’s showing at the federal elections in May 2010 and 14.7% more than its nearest rival, the Christian democrat party CD&V that gained the support of 17.4% of respondents.

Christian democrats down

With 17.4%, the Flemish Christian democrats are down 1.1% on our last poll in September 2012.

However, the party is down just 0.2% on the 17.6% of votes that it gained in the last federal elections. The party remains a clear second in the polls 2.7% ahead of the socialists.

Socialist status quo

The position of the Flemish socialists remains relatively unchanged compared to our last poll and the result of the last federal elections.

Bruno Tobback’s party enjoyed the support of 14.7% of respondents, up 0.2% on last September, but down 0.2% on the 2010 federal elections.

Extreme right decline halted

The decline in support for the far-right Vlaams Belang appears to have been halted. The party that polled almost a quarter of the votes in the 2004 regional elections had slipped back below 10% in our last poll in September 2012.

However, the party is now back up into fourth place with 10.6% of respondents now saying that they intend to vote for the party led by Gerolf Annemans.

This is up 1.1% on last September, but still down 2% on the party’s showing in the last federal elections.

Liberals still in the doldrums

Despite having a new party-leader in the shape of Gwendolyn Rutten, the Flemish liberal party Open VLD has failed to regain any of the support it has lost over the past few years.

On the contrary, with 10.1% of voting intentions the party is down 0.6% on its showing in September’s poll and 3.9% down on the party’s result in the 2010 federal elections.

Greens the biggest winners

The biggest winners in our poll are the Greens. The Flemish Green Party is now good for 9.5% of voting intentions up 1.6% on September 2012 and 2.7% on the 6.8% the party polled in the 2010 federal elections.

Far-left up, Dedecker down

There is also good news for the far left PvdA. The party has seen its percentage of voting intentions more than double from 1.2% in September to 2.5% now. This is also up a quarter on the party’s 2% showing in the last federal elections.

Meanwhile, the right-leaning liberal Jean-Marie Dedecker’s party now polls just 0.4%, down from 1.3% in September and 3.7% at the last federal elections.