By Tijs De Geyndt
The forecast for the regional Brussels elections bring bad news for all parties that currently form a coalition. According to polling PS takes a loss of about 6% in comparison to their result in 2014 ending with 19%, MR does even worse losing 7,6%, becoming the third party at 15,5%. The biggest winner is Ecolo, set to become the biggest party with 21,5%. All other parties that joined the coalition lose voters: Défi at 8,5 (-2,6%), CDH 6,9 (-2,4%).
Ecolo is set to win the elections and has vowed to get Groen on board adding another estimated 3% of votes. This opens door to form a progressive coalition that will go further down the path of pedestrian – and bike-orientated policy. One of the leading themes of the election is living quality driven by the awareness of the bad state of air pollution. Brussels is considered one of the worst regions in Europe and actions by concerned parents organizing protests called “filter café’s” each Friday morning at the schools of their treasures helped set the agenda. This together with the importance of the climate debate has fuelled popularity of the Green party.
After the local elections of October the Greens already formed coalitions in most (!) of the nineteen communities of the Brussels region. They hope that a victory will allow them to cooperate closely with local coalitions to advance policy getting stuck on shared policy domains more often than not.