N-VA the big winners, Vlaams Belang whipped

The Flemish nationalists of N-VA have come out on top in both the Flemish and federal elections. The party of Bart De Wever fetches over 30 percent of the votes and is reigning supreme. Far-right Vlaams Belang posts major losses in various polling stations, losing 50 percent of the votes on average. There are mixed feelings for liberals and socialists, while the Christian democrats of CD&V are claiming second place behind the N-VA. The greens are welcoming a slight progress. (photo: Vlaams Belang leader Gerolf Annemans and Bart De Wever of the N-VA).

The N-VA has met the symbolic challenge of 30 percent of the votes with ease if we look at the whole of Flanders, with a general score of around 33 percent in the Flemish and the federal elections. It is not clear whether CD&V can get hold of 20 percent of the votes.

It looks as if they will just come short of their dream on the federal level, while they should just make it on the Flemish level. One thing seems quite probable already: if N-VA and CD&V join forces, they have a majority of at least 50 percent of the votes.

The N-VA (photo: Bart De Wever) is making giant leaps forward compared to the last Flemish regional elections in 2009. Their breakthrough came one year later, in 2010 federal elections, when they had just over 28 percent of the votes. An overall score of 30 percent is now lifting them comfortably over their 2010 result.

The Flemish socialists (SP.A) and liberals (Open VLD) are progressing in some places, while going in the red in other polling stations. Behind the N-VA, CD&V, SP.A and Open VLD, it's the greens of Groen popping up in 5th place as they progress slightly in most places. This allows them to leapfrog Vlaams Belang.

Dramatic result for far-right Vlaams Belang

Vlaams Belang loses a lot of support. In general, their results are cut by half as they drop to some 6 percent of the votes, coming from 12.6 on the federal level. In the elections for the Flemish parliament, things were even worse. While Vlaams Belang had 15.3 percent in 2009, they have to content with some 6 percent now (-9 percent). Far-right leaders could hardly hide their disappointment. They were almost washed away by a tsunami called the N-VA. The latest results continue their demise, which started some years ago.

The far-left Marxist PvdA was dreaming of clinching a first ever seat in federal parliament, but didn't make it, though they came close in Antwerp, the home ground of PvdA leader Peter Mertens. "Ousted in extra time", Mr Mertens told the VRT. "I am very disappointed, but we will be back."

The liberal maverick Jean-Marie Dedecker (LDD, photo) was fighting for survival. He hoped to retain one seat in federal parliament and concentrated on the home front, only participating in the constituency of West Flanders. However, his tactics of "retreating behind the River IJzer like in the First World War" were not successful. He did not get the 5 percent he hoped for, stranding at 3 to 4 percent. "The fight is over. It's over and out", he said.

Who is taking how many seats, and which coalitions are possible?

The projected distribution of seats in the Flemish and federal parliaments allow political analysts to consider possible coalitions. In the Flemish parliament the Christian democrats and Flemish nationalists have a majority, so does a coalition of Christian democrats, socialists and liberals.

For the federal parliament a coalition of Flemish nationalists and Flemish Christian democrats has a majority as does a coalition of Flemish nationalists and Flemish liberals. Flemish Christian democrats, liberals and socialists too have a majority, but these combinations do not take account of the situation in French-speaking Belgium.

This is the (probable) number of seats for the Flemish parliament: N-VA (43 - up 27), CD&V (27 - down 4), Open VLD (19 - down 2), SP.A (18 - down 1), Groen (10 - plus 3) and Vlaams Belang (6 - down 15). Some numbers are still subject to minor changes.

This is the result for the federal parliament: N-VA (34 seats - up 7), CD&V (18 - plus 1), Open VLD (14 - plus1), SP.A (12 - minus1), Groen (6 - plus1) and Vlaams Belang (3 - minus 9) for Flanders; for French-speaki,ng Belgium the result gives 24 seats for the socialists of the PS (down 2), 20 for the liberals of MR (unchanged), 8 for the Christian democrats of CDH (down 1), 6 for the greens of Ecolo (down 2), 2 for the Marxist labour party PTB (up 2), 2 for the radical Francophone slate of FDF and 1 for the right-wing Parti Populaire.