The result is a blow to the opposition Christian democrats, formerly Kortrijk's largest party, that see their vote halved to some 16%.
Mixed fortunes for Mr Van Quickenborne's coalition partners, the socialists maintain their score, while there are significant losses for the Flemish nationalists of N-VA. Like in many places there are modest gains for the ecologists of Groen. Gains are bigger for the far right Vlaams Belang.
Mr Van Quickenborne says that the people of his city have entrusted the mayoralty to him for a second time: "This is clearly an historic result. It's the first time that the liberals become the largest party in 150 years. My first feeling is one of gratitude. This gives me a good feeling. I never expected it. This is proof we administered the city well. We are the largest party by lengths."