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Wallonia: loss for PS but still biggest party

Technical issues caused a delay in correct results for the election results on the French speaking side. Earlier polling results suggested a historic defeat for the socialists but this proved incorrect.

Although the party of mr. Elio Di Rupo loses seven seats in the regional parliament they still remain the biggest force in the Southern part of the country with 23 seats. MR takes a hit and loses five seats, but at 20 remaining seats they weathered the storm that hit all traditional parties better than expected. CDH has to give up three seats becoming the smallest party past the 5% threshold at 11%. They now have 10 remaining seats.

PTB/PVDA, the radical left party, surged to a 13,7% result, also resulting in 10 seats. Together with Ecolo at 14,5% (+8 seats) they were the big winners of the elections in the land of the rooster. With the side note that although the substantial growth the greens weren’t able to match the polling numbers of the last months. For the first time in the history of the region ‘alternative left’ (Ecolo & PTB) are bigger than the traditional socialists.

Despite setting the worst result since 1919, after the adoption of universal suffrage, Elio Di Rupo has announced to take the lead from Wednesday onward to start forming a regional government. Inviting all other party leaders, it will be interesting to see how the party will position herself.

For months Di Rupo has announced he wants to form “the most progressive coalition”. Yet at the same time showing very limited interest in working together with PTB. Will they leave PTB out of a coalition as earlier suggested? Risking vulnerability for opposition from the left in the coming five years. A coalition with MR would do the trick but their understanding has never been sincere. Bypassing MR would mean that, apart from Ecolo, CDH needs to be pulled on board. But are they willing to govern at a moment their party is at its weakest?

It’s even possible for MR to form a similar coalition with Ecolo and CDH, leaving PS in the opposition for 5 years. Only time will tell!

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