N-VA in the driving seat, hopes for CD&V and Open VLD

A new opinion poll conducted by De Standaard and the VRT gives the Flemish nationalists of N-VA over 32 percent of the votes on a federal level. This is almost double the score of the number 2 on the list, the Christian democrats of CD&V who would have between 16 and 17 percent. Next are the Flemish liberals of Open VLD, followed by the socialists of SP.A. The Flemish greens are doing well with over 10 percent of the electorate behind them, according to estimations. Far-right Vlaams Belang seem to be in the doldrums.

The poll was held on 3 different levels: the federal, Flemish and the European level. It is interesting to see how the different parties sometimes have a better or weaker score according to the framework.

The poll was carried out between 7 and 19 April among 1,030 respondents across Flanders. Some 50 people did not give a choice.

The Flemish nationalists of N-VA confirm their overall leading position and are doing a lot better than at the previous poll, when they had almost 28 percent last October. The federal score for the Christian democrats will be received as disappointing, but they are doing better on the Flemish level, probably thanks to the Flemish Prime Minister Kris Peeters, who made it clear he is going for a new term (small photo: Peeters and De Wever).

However, while Mr Peeters is going for a new term, the N-VA are also claiming the top position of Flemish politics, provided they come out on top on 25 May. N-VA have no outspoken candidate for the job though, as party leader Bart De Wever is still not sure whether he will go for federal or Flemish Prime Minister or something else.

The poll gives CD&V some 20 percent of the votes for the Flemish parliament, an improvement of almost 4 percent compared to the federal level, but still not enough to really threaten the N-VA. The Flemish nationalists of Bart De Wever could count on some 33 percent on the Flemish level. 

Open VLD thank Maggie De Block

The Flemish liberals and socialists are battling it out for 3rd place. Open VLD have 15.1 percent of the federal votes, but are losing a couple of percentages on the Flemish level, where they are overtaken by SP.A.

The good federal score for Open VLD, may have something to do with their Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Maggie De Block (photo). She has emerged as one of the most popular politicians in Flanders due to her strict approach of immigration issues.

The greens are claiming 5th position with some 10 percent of the votes. Next are Vlaams Belang, but the far-right party led by Gerolf Annemans seems to have a problem. Their federal score of 6.8 percent is almost 4 percent down on the previous poll.

There was also bad news for the liberal maverick Jean-Marie Dedecker of LDD. Mr Dedecker only has a list in West Flanders, but cannot reach the election threshold of 5 percent, stranding at an estimated 2.3 percent. The left-wing Marxist party PvdA has a similar problem, as they can only convince 2.3 of the electorate so far.

Europe

The N-VA are also reigning supreme in the European polls, with over 27 percent of the votes for Johan Van Overtveldt and his colleagues. If this result is confirmed on 25 May, it would be giant leap forward for N-VA, which had to be content with 9.88 percent back in 2009.

CD&V have to take part in the race without figurehead Jean-Luc Dehaene, who is retiring from politics as he is recovering from cancer. They have 19 percent of the votes.

Open VLD can count on the liberal giant Guy Verhofstadt and fetch 16.7 percent. Not bad compared to their Flemish and federal scores, but still well below their 2009 result of 20.56 percent.

For the other parties, the domestic scores are confirmed on a European level. SP.A and Groen are making slight progress, while Vlaams Belang, PvdA and LDD are seeing their results halved compared to 2009.