N-VA trounces other Flemish parties in pre-election poll


With N-VA far ahead in the polls and chair Bart De Wever the most popular politician, election results next month could be good for the nationalist party

Groen gains most ground

N-VA is Flanders’ most popular party, and its chair Bart De Wever is the region’s most popular politician. With nearly 28% of those polled favouring the nationalists, the party is well ahead of the second most-popular party, CD&V, which comes in at just half that figure, at 14.7%.

That’s the result of the elections poll commissioned by VRT NWS, De Standaard, RTBF and La Libre and carried out by research bureau Kantar. The poll was carried out in all three regions; in Flanders, more than 1,000 telephone interviews were conducted between 25 March and 14 April.

The poll is meant to gauge the likely outcome of the regional and federal elections that are taking place, together with the European elections, in Belgium on 26 May.

The last poll, published in December, saw CD&V doing much better at 18.7%. This time around, the Christian-democrates are neck-and-neck with Groen, with the latter getting 14.6% in the poll. Groen is followed by Open VLD at 14.2% and SP.A at 12.7%.

Ever upward

Of all of those, Groen is the only party that has gained ground since the last election, up 6 percentage points in the poll compared to the 2014 federal election results.

Far-right Vlaams Belang, however, has also gained ground, raising to 9.3% in the poll compared to an election result 3.5 points lower in 2014. The same is true for far-left PVDA, up by 3.1 points on the last election to reach 5.9% in the current poll.

N-VA chair and Antwerp mayor Bart De Wever was the respondents’ favourite politician, pulling ahead of his party comrade Theo Francken, who was in the top spot in December. Francken, migration secretary until N-VA pulled out of the federal ruling coalition in December, is now in second place. Flemish education minister Hilde Crevits (CD&V) holds onto her third place spot.

Bad news for prime minister

Acting prime minister Charles Michel, who was in second place before his resignation in December, has tumbled down to seventh, following Jan Jambon (N-VA), federal development minister Alexander De Croo (Open VLD) and Ostend mayor Bart Tommelein (Open VLD), respectively.

More bad news for the prime minister in Brussels, meanwhile, as his MR liberal party came in third, following green party Ecolo (21.5%) and socialists PS. It’s a whopping 11-point gain for Ecolo compared to the federal election results in 2014. All other parties lost ground, with MR losing the most, at -7.6 points.

Respondents in Brussels chose Défi chair Olivier Maingain as their favourite politician, followed by federal foreign affairs minister Didier Reynders (MR) and Charleroi mayor Paul Magnette (PS). Michel came in fourth. De Croo, at number seven, is the only Flemish politician in Brussels’ top 10.

Photo: N-VA chair Bart De Wever pictured in the Stampe en Vertongen Museum at Antwerp International Airport last week
©Jonas Roosens