Mr Dedecker's LDD party did well in his native province, where he enjoys a strong personal following, but West Flanders is precisely a province where the nationalists are weaker than elsewhere. Mr Dedecker now serves as Mayor of the seaside resort of Middelkerke and says he can use N-VA support. Earlier he earned his spurs as the Belgian national judo coach taking the sport to new heights in this country.
Jean-Marie Dedecker told VRT News:
"I'm in favour of right wing social economic policies. It's all hands on deck at the minute. I'm in favour of Flanders being part of a Belgian confederation. Migration policy too is close to my heart. If we wish a centre right government the N-VA is indispensable. That's why I'm supporting the party!"
Mr Dedecker won't be signing up for an N-VA party card just yet.
"I'm a free-thinker. That is holy to me. This is an ideological marriage of convenience. I would like a seat in the Chamber of Representatives where I will sit as an independent."
This isn’t the first rapprochement between Mr Dedecker and the N-VA. In 2006 he was set to join the N-VA, but this fell through after the nationalists’ then partner, the Christian democrats, objected to him.