Belgian federal election, 2003

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Belgium federal election, 2003
Belgium
1999 ←
18 May 2003 (2003-05-18) → 2007

All 150 seats in the Chamber of Representatives
40 of 71 seats in the Senate

respectively 76 and 36 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  Guy Verhofstadt Elio Di Rupo
Leader Guy Verhofstadt Elio Di Rupo Antoine Duquesne
Party VLD PS MR
Leader since Candidate for PM 1999 2003
Leader's seat Dendermonde Mons Manhay
Last election 23 seats, 14.3% 19 seats, 10.22% 18 seats, 10.1%
Seats before 23 19 18
Seats won 25 25 24
Seat change Increase2 Increase6 Increase6
Popular vote 1,009,223 855,992 748,954
Percentage 15.4% 13.02% 11.4%
Swing Increase1.1% Increase2.8 Increase1.3%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Steve Stevaert Stefaan De Clerck Frank Vanhecke
Leader Steve Stevaert Stefaan De Clerck Frank Vanhecke
Party sp.a + Spirit CD&V VB
Leader since 2003 2003 1996
Leader's seat Bilzen Kortrijk Antwerp
Last election 14 seats, 9.5% 22 seats, 14.3% 15 seats, 9.87%
Seats before 14 22 15
Seats won 23 21 18
Seat change Increase9 Decrease1 Increase3
Popular vote 979,750 870,749 767,605
Percentage 14.9% 13.3% 11.59%
Swing Increase5.4% Decrease0.84% Increase1.70%

Belgian federal election 2003 - Chamber - circumscriptions.svg

Colours denote the winning party in each electoral district, as shown in the table of results.

Federal Government before election

Verhofstadt I Government

Elected Federal Government

Verhofstadt II Government

State Coat of Arms of Belgium.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Belgium
Constitution
Foreign relations

The 18 May 2003 Belgian federal elections were the first Belgian elections to be held under a new electoral code. One of the novelties was an electoral threshold of 5%, which has cost many seats to the N-VA and the Green parties, Ecolo and Agalev. The Belgian Socialists recovered well; the liberal and nationalist parties increased their vote as well.

The Flemish Greens lost all their seats. The Greens were attacked on two fronts: some, including their coalition partners, accused them of being too fundamentalist, while others said that they had betrayed their ideals. The resignation of a Walloon green minister (Isabelle Durant), one week before the elections, probably didn't do them much good either. Although it was predicted in some opinion polls, the gains of the Front National were surprising, considering that it seldom appeared in the media. The most important trend was the recovery of the Flemish social-democrats, led by the popular (some would say populist) Steve Stevaert. The fact that Elio Di Rupo was learning Dutch caused rumours that he hoped to become Prime Minister, if the social-democrats would turn out to be the largest political family.

Themes that probably influenced the election results in some way or another were the government's opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the controversy around the nuisance around the airport of Zaventem, the controversy surrounding the banning of tobacco publicity, and unemployment. But a general dominating theme was lacking.

Results[edit]

e • d Summary of the 18 May 2003 Belgian Chamber of Representatives election results
← 199920032007 →
Party Main ideology Leader(s) Votes  % +/– E.c. % Seats +/–
Flemish Liberals and Democrats (VLD) Liberalism Karel De Gucht 1,009,223 15.36 1.1 Increase 25.9 25 2 Increase
Socialist Party–Differently (SP.A) + Spirit (SPIRIT) Social democracy Steve Stevaert 979,750 14.91 5.4 Increase 24.9 23 9 Increase
Christian Democratic & Flemish (CD&V) Christian democracy Stefaan De Clerck 870,749 13.25 0.84 Decrease 25.3 21 1 Decrease
Socialist Party (PS) Social democracy Elio Di Rupo 855,992 13.02 2.8 Increase 36.4 25 6 Increase
Flemish Block (VB) Flemish nationalism Frank Vanhecke 767,605 11.59 1.7 Increase 18.2 18 3 Increase
Reformist Movement (MR) Liberalism Antoine Duquesne 748,954 11.40 1.3 Increase 28.4 24 6 Increase
Humanist Democratic Centre (CDH) Christian democracy Joëlle Milquet 359,660 5.47 0.4 Decrease 15.4 8 2 Decrease
New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) Flemish nationalism Geert Bourgeois 201,399 3.06 2.5 Decrease 1 9 Decrease
Confederated Ecologists (ECOLO) Green politics 201,123 3.06 4.3 Decrease 8.5 4 7 Decrease
National Front (FN) Nationalism Daniel Féret 130,012 1.98 0.5 Increase 5.6 1 0 Steady
Living Differently (AGALEV) Green politics Jos Geysels 162,205 2.47 3.5 Decrease 3.9 0 9 Decrease
Vivant (VIVANT) Social liberalism Roland Duchâtelet 81,337 1.20 0.9 Decrease 0 0 Steady
Others (parties that received less than 1% of the national vote) 204,180 3.10
Valid votes 6,572,189 94.74
Blank and invalid votes 364,612 5.26
Totals 6,936,801 100.00 150 0 Steady
Electorate and voter turnout 7,570,637 91.63
Source: Federal Portal − Chamber Elections 2003.

Notes:
1) The 1999 data are resp. SP instead of SP.A-Spirit, CVP instead of CD&V, PRL-FDF-MCC alliance instead of MR, PSC instead of cdH and VU instead of N-VA.

e • d Summary of the 18 May 2003 Belgian Senate election results
Party Votes +/– % +/– Seats +/–
Socialist Party–Different / Spirit (Socialistische Partij–Anders / Spirit) 1,013,560 462,903 Increase 15.47 6.59 Increase 7 3 Increase
Flemish Liberals and Democrats (Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten) 1,007,868 55,752 Increase 15.38 0.01 Increase 7 1 Increase
Christian Democratic and Flemish (Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams) 832,849 80,659 Decrease 12.71 2.03 Decrease 6 0 Steady
Socialist Party (Parti Socialiste) 840,908 243,018 Increase 12.84 3.19 Increase 6 2 Increase
Reformist Movement (Mouvement Réformateur) 795,757 140,796 Increase 12.15 1.58 Increase 5 0 Steady
Flemish Block (Vlaams Blok) 741,940 158,732 Increase 11.32 1.91 Increase 5 1 Increase
Humanist Democratic Centre (Centre Démocrate Humaniste) 362,705 11,297 Decrease 5.54 0.49 Decrease 2 1 Decrease
New-Flemish Alliance (Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie) 200,273 117,557 Decrease 3.06 2.0 Decrease 0 2 Decrease
Ecolo 208,868 249,790 Decrease 3.19 4.21 Decrease 1 2 Decrease
Agalev 161,024 277,907 Decrease 2.46 4.62 Decrease 0 3 Decrease
National Front (Front National) 147,305 54,381 Increase 2.25 0.75 Increase 1 1 Increase
Vivant (total) 86,723 36,775 Decrease 1.3 0.7 Decrease
Others 151,731 2.3
Total (turnout 94.4 %) 6,551,511   100   40  
Source: Verkiezingen 2003.

The 1999 data are resp. SP instead of SPA-S, CVP instead of CD&V, PRL-FDF-MCC alliance instead of MR, PSC instead of cdH and Volksunie instead of N-VA.

Further reading[edit]