In Ghent the greens and the socialists on the one hand and the liberals and the Christian democrats on the other have thrown in their lot together. Both camps are needed to form a majority on the council and the four parties met for secret consultations on Tuesday. Formal talks on forming a coalition start this week.
The liberals hope to secure the mayoralty after they made big gains and would have preferred to ditch the socialists in any new administration after the socialists did particularly badly in the election. The greens, who did a lot better, are still insisting that the socialists form part of any coalition. And yes, the socialist/green alliance still picked up a third of the vote in Ghent despite big losses.
A grand coalition will have a dominant position on the council with 40 out of 53 seats. The liberals (15) and greens (14) possess more or less the same number of seats, so it's unclear which party can nominate the mayor. The liberals' Mathias De Clercq is eager, but the greens are putting Filip Watteeuw forward. To be continued!