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Wallonia: The socialists lose seven seats, but maintain slender majority
In a similar picture to the rest of the country, Sunday’s election for the 75-seat Walloon parliament saw the main parties all suffering a considerable dent in their support.
The PS, liberal MR and centrist CDH all experienced losses, while Ecolo and left-wing PTB reported significant wins, each gaining an additional eight seats.
Results for Wallonia dribbled in following the country’s super Sunday elections. A tipped green wave across the region failed to materialise. But by the early hours of Monday morning, it was clear that the political landscape in southern Belgium had radically changed.
With 26.17% of votes, PS hit a historic low. Since the introduction of universal suffrage in Belgium in 1919, the socialist result has never been so small. Nevertheless, party president Elio Di Rupo said the socialists remained the largest political force in Wallonia and among francophones. The former prime minister declared that he would launch negotiations with the other parties in a bid to form a governing coalition.
While maintaining its positions as the second party in the region with 21.42%, MR significantly lost ground in all of its traditional strongholds.
Losing three seats after recording 11% of the vote, CDH continued its downward spiral since the 2014 regional election. The one province not to follow suit was Namur, widely attributed as the ‘Maxime Prévot effect’, in recognition of the Namur mayor, Walloon deputy and CDH president.
Ecolo was celebrating after its considerable increase in seats and share of the votes (14.48%), although the PTB’s rise was the most remarkable of the Walloon election. With 13.68% it will also be sending 10 deputies to the regional parliament.
Among the other parties, Défi reported a slight increase with 4.14% and Parti Populaire dipped to 3.67%, losing its one seat.
The Walloon parliament in numbers
PS: 23 seats (-7)
MR: 20 seats (-5)
Ecolo: 12 seats (+8)
CdH: 10 seats (-3)
PTB: 10 seats (+8)
Demain 0 seats (no change)
Photo: Eric Lalmand/Belga