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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09BRUSSELS832
2009-06-17 15:52:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Brussels
Cable title:  

RESULTS FROM BELGIUM'S EUROPEAN ELECTIONS

Tags:   PGOV  BE 
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VZCZCXRO7056
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSL RUEHSR RUEHVK
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DE RUEHBS #0832/01 1681552
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171552Z JUN 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9075
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRUSSELS 000832 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/WE AND EUR/ERA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV BE
SUBJECT: RESULTS FROM BELGIUM'S EUROPEAN ELECTIONS

BRUSSELS 00000832 001.3 OF 002




1. (U) Summary: The results from the June 7, 2009 European
Parliament elections came out as expected. On the francophone
side, the Parti Socialiste (PS) and liberal Mouvement
Reformateur (MR) together earned over 50 percent of the vote.
The surging Green party, Ecolo, significantly improved upon
its 2004 result. In Flanders, the campaign of former Prime
Minister Guy Verhofstadt (Open VLD) greatly contributed to
the Flemish Liberal party's success in the European election.
End Summary.



2. (U) On the francophone side, the Parti Socialiste (PS)
maintained its leading position despite dropping 7.0
percentage points from its total in 2004. The PS was
followed by the liberal Mouvement Reformateur (MR), which
finished with 26.0 percent of the vote. The Belgian green
party, Ecolo, and the MR fared better in these elections than
they did in the Walloon regional elections. Ecolo, in
particular, came out as the big winner, improving on its 2004
result by 13.1 percent. The Christian Democrats (CDH) came
in fourth place with 13.3 percent. The German-speaking
affiliate of the CDH in the East of Belgium won the
German-language community parliamentary seat. The full
results from the francophone electoral constituency are
summarized below:

Party 2009 % Change


--------------------------



--------------------------



--------------------------


PS 29.1 -7.0

CDH 13.3 -1.8

MR 26.0 -1.6

Ecolo 22.9 13.1

FN 3.6 -3.8



3. (U) On the Flemish side, the Christian Democrats (CD&V)
earned the greatest percentage of the vote with 23.3 percent.
Interestingly, despite the breakup of the alliance between
the Christian Democrats and Flemish Nationalists (CD&V and
N-VA), the two parties garnered a greater proportion of the
popular vote in 2009. In the 2004 elections, the CD&V - N-VA
cartel won 28.1 percent of the popular vote. In 2009, the
two parties, running separately, obtained 33.2%. With former
PM Guy Verhofstadt leading the ticket, the liberal party Open
VLD finished 5.6 percentage points above its score in the
Flemish regional elections held the same day. See the full
percentage breakdown below:

Party 2009 % Change


--------------------------



--------------------------



--------------------------


N-VA 9.9

--------------------------



Groen! 7.9 -0.1

VL.B 15.9 -7.3

CD&V 23.3

--------------------------



Open VLD 20.6 -1.3


LDD 7.3

--------------------------





4. (U) Belgium's number of seats in the European Parliament
dropped from 24 to 22 in 2009 as a result of the entry of new
EU member states since 2004. Former PM Guy Verhofstadt won
the greatest number of personal preference votes with 565,359
votes. Verhofstadt's predecessor, Jean-Luc Dehaene (CD&V),
finished in second place with 450,149 votes. EU Commissioner
Louis Michel (MR) came in third with 305,363 votes, followed
by former PM Yves Leterme and N-VA party president Bart De
Wever.


BELGIUM'S NEWLY ELECTED MEMBERS OF THE EU PARLIAMENT


--------------------------



--------------------------



Name Party Additional information


--------------------------



--------------------------



--------------------------


Louis Michel MR Incumbent member of the
European Commission

Frederique Ries MR Incumbent MEP

Jean-Claude Marcourt PS Incumbent Minister of the
Walloon Regional Government

Frederic Daerden PS Incumbent member of the
Walloon Regional Parliament


BRUSSELS 00000832 002.3 OF 002


Veronique De Keyser PS Incumbent MEP

Isabelle Durant Ecolo Incumbent member of the
Federal Parliament

Philippe Lamberts Ecolo Newcomer

Anne Delvaux CDH Member of the Federal
Parliament

Guy Verhofstadt Open VLD Former PM

Dirk Sterckx Open VLD Incumbent MEP

Anne-Mire Neyts Open VLD Incumbent MEP

Jean-Luc Dehaene CD&V Former PM and Incumbent MEP

Marianne Thyssen CD&V Incumbent MEP and CD&V
president

Ivo Belet CD&V Incumbent MEP

Kathleen Van Brempt SP.A Former Flemish Regional
Minister

Said El Khadraoui SP.A Incumbent MEP

Bart De Wever N-VA Will cede his seat to
Incumbent MEP Frieda Brepoels

Frank Vanhecke VL.B Incumbent MEP

Jean-Marie Dedecker LDD Will cede his seat to
Derk-Jan Eppink

Bart Staes Groen! Incumbent MEP

Mathieu Grosch CDH-CSP Incumbent MEP



5. (U) Comment: As on previous occasions, the election for
the European Parliament was eclipsed by attention to the
regional elections in Belgium. Overall, the results
reflected the growing political divergence between the
Flemish and Walloon regions. As in the regional elections,
center-left and green parties won in Wallonia, while in
Flanders (and in much of Europe) the results favored parties
on the center-right. The Green parties (Ecolo and Groen!)
both fared better in the European elections in Belgium than
in the regional elections. Ecolo's strong performance earned
the party an additional seat in the EP, where the Greens hope
to be the fourth strongest political force. The only really
striking feature of the European tally is the result obtained
by Open VLD, which did considerably better than its rather
poor showing in the Flemish regional election. Former PM Guy
Verhofstadt not only won the most personal preference votes,
but his efforts helped contribute to a 5.6 percentage point
better showing for his party than in the Flemish regional
election. Consequently, Verhofstadt's return to the helm of
Open VLD came as no surprise after incumbent Open VLD
president Bart Somers announced his resignation the day of
the election. The strong showing by EU Commissioner Louis
Michel, despite the MR's poor performance in the Wallonia
regional election, reinforces Michel's position within the
MR, and indirectly that of his son Charles, at a time when
Vice Premier and MR president Didier Reynders is being
heavily criticized for having made a serious mistake by
running a too-negative and abrasive election campaign.

BUSH
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