Belgian local elections, 2012

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Belgian local elections, 2012
Belgium
2006 ←
14 October 2012 (2012-10-14) → 2018

Belgique-Communes589-Provinces10.gif

Map indicating the language areas and provinces of Belgium.
  Dutch-speaking
  French-speaking
  German-speaking
  Bilingual Du./Fr.
Community: Region:
Flemish Flemish (Flanders)
Capital (Brussels)
French
Walloon (Wallonia)
German-speaking
Provinces are marked by the thinner black lines.

The Belgian provincial, municipal and district elections of 2012 took place on 14 October. As with the previous 2006 elections, these are no longer organised by the Belgian federal state but instead by the respective regions:

In the municipalities with language facilities of Voeren, Comines-Warneton and the 6 of the Brussels Periphery, the aldermen and members of the OCMW/CPAS council are directly elected.[1]

Mayors are not directly elected, instead the respective regional government (of Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia) appoint one of the elected municipal councillors. The councillors usually propose a candidate.

The result in Wallonia was largely a continuation of the major parties, without any big power shifts. In Flanders however, the nationalist party N-VA, which won in previous regional and federal elections, continued their success and became (one of) the largest party in many municipalities and the largest in three out of five provinces.

Electoral system[edit]

Parties[edit]

National political parties are mostly separated by language community. A lot of municipalities have local parties as well as a presence of national parties. Here are the most important national parties:

  • Dutch-speaking, generally contending in Flanders and Brussels: N-VA (nationalist), CD&V (Christian-democrats), sp.a (socialists), Open VLD (liberals), Groen (ecologists), Vlaams Belang (far-right), PvdA (Marxist)
  • French-speaking, generally contending in Wallonia and Brussels: PS (socialists), MR (liberals), FDF (liberals), CdH (Christian-democrats), Ecolo (ecologists), FN (far-right), PTB (Marxist)
  • German-speaking, generally contending in several German-speaking municipalities in Wallonia

Foreign residents[edit]

For the third time, non-Belgian EU residents may vote and be candidate for the municipal elections under the same conditions as Belgian residents, and for the second time non-Belgian non-EU residents may vote, but not be candidate, after 5 years residency. As voting is compulsory and Belgium may not impose voting on foreign residents, would-be voters from both categories have to fill a document and go to their municipal administration before August 1, 2012 to be included on the list of electors. Non-EU residents have to sign a document accepting to conform to Belgian laws and Constitution.[2] The percentage of foreign residents who are enlisted as electors has severely declined from 2006 to 2012: from 20.9% to 14.85% for EU residents, from 15.7% to 6.30% for non-EU residents (still including Bulgarians and Rumanians in 2006).[3]

Brussels[edit]

Municipalities in the Brussels-Capital Region

The Brussels-Capital Region is made up of 19 municipalities (of which one is the city of Brussels) which are not part of any province.

In these municipalities, French-speaking parties are usually the largest ones, mostly PS and MR. FDF, previously forming a cartel with MR and also strong in Brussels municipalities, will now contend on its own, but dissidents from both former partners are contending on the other party's list, particularly in the municipalities where they are currently part of the majority coalition.

Dutch-speaking parties will in some municipalities form a cartel either with their French counterpart or in a larger "Mayor's List", as is the case this time between Ecolo and Groen! in all 19 municipalities, and with PS and SP.A in 17 out of 19. The only Dutch-speaking list with support from most Dutch-speaking parties is Samen (CD&V, Open VLD, SP.A and independents) in Auderghem. N-VA announced it will contend on its own in at least 10 out of the 19 municipalities.[4] 78 Dutch-speaking Dutch-speaking candidates were elected this time in the municipal councils.

Results[edit]

Results are available via http://bruxelleselections2012.irisnet.be/

Municipality Total seats CDH-
CD&V
Ecolo-
Green
LB MR-
Open VLD
PS-
sp.a
Flemish Interest N-VA Other
Anderlecht 47 * 5 14 * 1 21 (PS-SP.A-CDH)
Brussels 49 10 7 10 18 - 1 1 (FDF)
Elsene 43
Etterbeek 35
Evere 33 3 4 16 6 * - 1 4 (FDF)
Ganshoren 27
Jette 35
Koekelberg 27 - 3 16 - 8 - - -
Oudergem 29 1 4 23 2 - - 1
Schaarbeek 47 4 7 18 4 13 - - 1
Sint-Agatha-Berchem 27
Sint-Gillis 35 2 8 19 6 - - - -
Sint-Jans-Molenbeek 43 6 4 16 15 - - 1 3
Sint-Joost-ten-Node 29
Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe 37
Sint-Pieters-Woluwe 33 - 3 14 - 1 - - 15
Ukkel 41 3 7 - 21 5 - - 5 (FDF)
Vorst 37 3 7 - 10 14 - - 3 (FDF)
Watermaal-Bosvoorde 27 - 7 10 3 2 - - -

Flanders[edit]

The five provincial councils were up for election, as well as the municipal councils of all 308 municipalities along with the district councils in the city of Antwerp and the OCMW councils in seven municipalities with language facilities for French speakers.

Background and general trends[edit]

The nationalist party N-VA became the largest party in the 2010 federal election. It was expected that the party would now achieve a number of seats in many Flemish municipalities, which was indeed the case. Local lists include cartels between two parties and independents, varying from one municipality to another, e.g. SP.A and CD&V in the city of Antwerp, but SP.A and Groen! in the districts of Antwerp and in Ghent, Open VLD and Groen! (and a splinter group from the CD&V) in Mechelen.

Parties on the right, CD&V, Open VLD and Vlaams Belang, generally lose votes in previous elections whereas N-VA has grown a lot.

The socialist party SP.A is especially successful in large cities, but has slightly been losing votes in previous elections too.

The green party Groen remains stable with a relatively low percentage of votes.

Results are available via http://vlaanderenkiest.be/verkiezingen2012/

Provincial elections[edit]

The provincial councils of Antwerp, Flemish Brabant, East Flanders, West Flanders and Limburg were elected. The number of councillors has been reduced.

In East Flanders, Flemish Brabant and especially Antwerp, N-VA became the largest party in the province, followed by CD&V. In Limburg and West Flanders, CD&V remained the biggest party followed by N-VA.

Province Total seats CD&V Vlaams Belang Groen N-VA Open VLD PVDA+ SP.A UF
 Antwerp 72 (Decrease 12) 16.8 (13) 10.8 (7) 9.3 (6) 35.9 (27) 10.1 (7) 3.4 (2) 12.8 (10)
 East Flanders 72 (Decrease 12) 19.8 (15) 9.3 (6) 9 (6) 26.1 (21) 19.3 (15) 1.7 (0) 12.7 (9)
 Flemish Brabant 72 (Decrease 12) 19.5 (15) 6.7 (5) 9.6 (7) 25.8 (19) 16.8 (13) 1.2 (0) 12.1 (8) 7.1 (5)
 Limburg 63 (Decrease 12) 27.5 (18) 9.1 (6) 26.1 (17) 14.1 (9) 2.2 (0) 20.1 (13)†
 West Flanders 72 (Decrease 12) 27.6 (21) 7.7 (5) 7.5 (4) 25.3 (20) 13.4 (10) 1.3 (0) 15.8 (12)
Total 351 (Decrease 60)
Party Votes % +/– (2006) Seats +/– (2006)
New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) 1,165,938 28.5 * 104 *
Christian Democratic and Flemish (CD&V) 877,019 21.5 * 82 *
Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats (Open VLD) 595,932 14.6 Decrease 4.4 54
Socialist Party–Different (SP.A) 580,078 11.5 Decrease 7.7 51
Flemish Interest (VB) 365,439 8.9 Decrease 12.6 29
Green 314,538 7.7 Increase 0.1 24
Union des Francophones (UF) 48,920 1.2 5 Decrease 1
Workers' Party of Belgium (PVDA+) 84,037 2.1 Increase 2.1 2 Increase 2
Other parties 55,284 1.4
Valid votes 4,087,185
Invalid votes
Blanco votes
Total 351

† In Limburg: coalition SP.A - Groen. Only one of the 13 elected candidates (Hassan Amaghlaou) is a member of Groen.

Municipal elections[edit]

Below are the results for the municipal council elections of the five provincial capitals as well as cities larger than the smallest provincial capital (Hasselt).

Aalst[edit]

After the election, Christoph D'Haese became mayor, succeeding Ilse Uyttersprot.

Aalst City Council election, 2012
Party Main candidate Votes % ±
N-VA Christoph D'Haese (15 seats won) 17,312 31.1%
CD&V Ilse Uyttersprot (8 seats won) 9,618 17.3%
Open Vld Jean-Jacques De Gucht (7 seats won) 9,616 17.3%
sp.a Ann Van de Steen (7 seats won) 9,114 16.4%
Vlaams Belang Michel Van Brempt (4 seats won) 6,003 10.8% –12
Groen Andreas Verleysen (2 seats won) 3,268 5.9% +1.2
PVDA+/PTB Romain Dierickx (no seats won) 661 1.2% +0.5

Antwerp[edit]

A lot of attention goes to the city of Antwerp, where Bart De Wever, the president of N-VA, wants to become mayor and put an end to decades of socialist mayors, the current one being Patrick Janssens (sp.a). Christian-democrat CD&V and socialist sp.a will form one list. Also Wouter Van Besien (president of Groen) is contending for the position of mayor, and Filip Dewinter of extreme-right Vlaams Belang is campaigning in Antwerp. According to a poll, N-VA would get 42,9% of the votes, giving 26 out of 55 seats in the municipal party, and 46,5% would like to see De Wever become the new mayor.[5]

Antwerp City Council election, 2012
Party Main candidate Votes % ±
N-VA Bart De Wever (23 seats won) 102,795 37.7%
sp.a-CD&V joint list Patrick Janssens (17 seats won) 77,867 28.6%
Vlaams Belang Filip Dewinter (5 seats won) 27,824 10.2%
PVDA+/PTB Peter Mertens (4 seats won) 21,720 8.0% +6.2
Groen Meyrem Almaci (4 seats won) 21,658 7.9% +3.2
Open Vld Annemie Turtelboom (2 seats won) 15,098 5.5%
Others (no seats won) 5,473 2.0%

Bruges[edit]

In Bruges, the incumbent mayor Patrick Moenaert (nl) (CD&V), who led a coalition of CD&V/N-VA, SP.A and VLD (which were all represented parties except Groen and VB), quit so all possibilities remained open. Polls gave CD&V, SP.A and N-VA as major parties.[6]

Bruges City Council election, 2012
Party Main candidate Votes % ±
sp.a Renaat Landuyt (14 seats won) 21,567 26.8%
CD&V Dirk De Fauw (13 seats won) 21,404 26.6%
N-VA Anne Minne-Soete (10 seats won) 15,948 19.8%
Open Vld Mercedes Van Volcem (5 seats won) 8,859 11.0%
Groen Sammy Roelant (3 seats won) 7,123 8.8% +2.3
Vlaams Belang Alain Quataert (2 seats won) 4,350 5.4% –10.8
Others (no seats won) 1,327 1.7%

Gent[edit]

In Ghent, the incumbent mayor Daniël Termont is very popular. SP.A, his party, now formed a cartel with Groen. Polls predict the cartel will get about 43% of the votes. The parties Open VLD of Mathias De Clercq and N-VA of Siegfried Bracke follow after a gap.[7]

Ghent City Council election, 2012
Party Main candidate Votes % ±
sp.a-Groen Daniël Termont (25 seats won) 69,356 45.5%
N-VA Siegfried Bracke (9 seats won) 26,064 17.1%
Open Vld Mathias De Clercq (9 seats won) 25,167 16.5%
CD&V Veli Yüksel (4 seats won) 13,834 9.1%
Vlaams Belang Johan Deckmyn (3 seats won) 9,966 6.5% –11.5
PVDA+/PTB Tom De Meester (no seats won) 4,431 2.9% +1.9
Others (no seats won) 3,694 2.4%

Hasselt[edit]

Hasselt City Council election, 2012
Party Main candidate Votes % ±
Helemaal Hasselt Hilde Claes (15 seats won) 16,987 33.0%
N-VA Steven Vandeput (11 seats won) 13,130 25.5%
CD&V Ivo Belet (10 seats won) 21,404 26.6%
Groei met Open Vld Laurence Libert (4 seats won) 5,096 9.9%
Vlaams Belang Katleen Martens (1 seat won) 2.845 5,5% –8.4
Leefbaar Hasselt Jan Marechal (no seats won) 1.677 3,3%

Leuven[edit]

In Leuven, polls indicated that SP.A, the party of incumbent mayor Louis Tobback, would still be the largest. N-VA, CD&V and Groen follow after a gap.[8]

Leuven City Council election, 2012
Party Main candidate Votes % ±
sp.a Louis Tobback (16 seats won) 18,300 31.4%
N-VA Danny Pieters (9 seats won) 11,091 19.0%
CD&V Carl Devlies (9 seats won) 10,780 18.5%
Groen Fatiha Dahmani (7 seats won) 9,008 15.5% +4.2
Open Vld / LEUVEN+ Rik Daems (3 seats won) 4,561 7.8%
Vlaams Belang Hagen Goyvaerts (1 seat won) 2,173 3.7% –7.9
PVDA+/PTB Tine Van Rompuy (no seats won) 1,656 2.8% +1.7
Others (no seats won) 674 1.1%

Mechelen[edit]

Mechelen City Council election, 2012
Party Main candidate Votes % ±
vld-Groen-m+ Bart Somers (16 seats won) 17,900 33.9%
N-VA Marc Hendrickx (11 seats won) 12,244 23.2%
sp.a Caroline Gennez (8 seats won) 9,610 18.2%
CD&V Walter Schroons (5 seats won) 6,524 12.4%
Vlaams Belang Frank Creyelman (3 seats won) 4,589 8.7% –17.8
PVDA+/PTB Dirk Tuypens (no seats won) 1,610 3.0% +2.4
Bewoners Partij Jan Mussin (no seats won) 328 0.6%

Wallonia[edit]

PS and MR are generally the two largest parties, followed by Ecolo and CDH. In the province of Luxembourg, CDH is generally more successful. No major trends or shifts were expected nor happened.

Results are available via http://elections2012.wallonie.be/results/fr/

Provincial elections[edit]

The provincial councils of Namur, Walloon Brabant, Liège, Hainaut and Luxembourg were elected. The number of councillors has been reduced.

Province Total seats CDH CSP Ecolo FDF MR PFF-MR PS PTB+ SP
 Hainaut 56 (Decrease 28) 14.39% 6 (Decrease 9) 10.88% 4 (Decrease 1) 2.3% 0 23.17% 16 (Decrease 7) 39.68% 30 (Decrease 8) 2.5% 0
 Liège 56 (Decrease 28) 13.76% 7 (Decrease 6) 1.72% 1 (Increase 1) 14.76% 8 (Decrease 3) 1.7% 0 25.16% 16 (Decrease 6) 1.74% 1 (Increase 1) 32.22% 20 (Decrease 12) 4.71% 2 (Increase 2) 0.72% 1 (Increase 1)
 Luxembourg 37 (Decrease 10) 34.95% 14 (Decrease 8) 11.58% 2 (Decrease 1) 1.8% 0 26.06 11 (Decrease 6) 23.03% 10 (Decrease 4) 0.6% 0
 Namur 37 (Decrease 19) 19.87% 8 (Decrease 6) 13.97% 4 (Decrease 3) 2.4% 0 29.79% 13 (Decrease 4) 27.82% 12 (Decrease 6) 2.1% 0
 Walloon Brabant 37 (Decrease 19) 12.26% 5 (Decrease 4) 16.29 6 (Decrease 3) 4.78% 2 (Increase 2) 42.44% 17 (Decrease 7) 17.33% 7 (Decrease 5) 0.8% 0
Total 223 (Decrease 104) 40 1 24 2 73 1 79 2 1

Municipal elections[edit]

City (Provincial capital) CDH Ecolo MR PS Other
Arlon 11 4 6 8
Liège 7 6 11 22 3
Mons 3 3 8 29 2
Namur 16 6 10 15
Wavre 3 4 * 4 20 (LB)

References[edit]

External links[edit]