Which Belgian governments are possible?

Belgian voters have shuffled the cards and it will be up to our politicians to forge alliances to get a new federal government up and running.  Voters have not been kind to the political class.

There’s one clear hurdle to cross: the difference between Flanders that voted to the right and Brussels-Wallonia that voted to the left.

Last time round regional governments were formed ahead of the federal government.  The results in Flanders mean that it will be virtually impossible to govern without the Flemish nationalists of N-VA despite nationalist losses. However, it will be a government of parties that lost seats, but as long as the far right Vlaams Belang is excluded there is no alternative. A coalition of Christian democrats, liberals, socialists and greens without the N-VA would have a majority though.

For a new federal government a coalition of socialists, liberals and greens is probably an option with the VRT forecast giving such a coalition 78 seats out of 150.

Christian democrats, socialists and greens topped up with the far left or the liberals is another possibility though with slender majorities. 

There are major objections against all these possibilities as they do not possess a majority among Flemish MPs.

A coalition of the Flemish centre right and the Francophone centre left would have a majority too, but the Flemish nationalists would then insist on new state reforms that Francophones are unwilling to embark upon.

A coalition like the Michel I government with the Flemish nationalists that governed Belgium for the past 4.5 years does not have a majority.

The far right Vlaams Belang may have become Flanders’ second party it stands no chance of entering the federal government as this would meet a veto from all Francophone parties, even if Flemish parties were willing, which – until further notice – they are not.