Flemish boys vote for rightwing parties, girls vote green

Flemish boys vote for rightwing parties, girls vote green

Almost half of Flemish boys would vote rightwing and conservative, girls mostly choose Groen, according to 'De Stem van de Jeugd' (The Vote of the Youth), a political poll from Het Laatste Nieuws and VTM. In the run-up to the elections on Sunday 26 May, 1,000 young people between 12 and 24 were surveyed for their voting behaviour. Not all of them are allowed to vote yet (the minimum voting age in Belgium is 18), but if they were, 24,2% of boys would vote for Vlaams Belang, 23% would go for N-VA. For the girls, it would be 12,4% and 14,2% respectively.

Almost seven in ten boys want a ban on headscarves in all schools, six in ten think we are already doing too much for asylum seekers. Four out of ten are in favour of an independent Flanders. The figures for girls are one third to one half lower. Almost 60% of the boys agree or completely agree with the statement that the nuclear power stations in Belgium should remain open longer. Among the girls, 55% did not agree.

Girls are more worried about the climate than boys (65% vs. 50%) and more often support climate leaders (58% vs. 41%). Groen is also the most popular party among girls, 33.3% would vote for the environmentalists (compared to 18.8% of boys). Three quarters also think that more people with different backgrounds should be seen and heard on television and radio, for boys that is only half.

The analysis also shows that young people do not have much faith in politics, and seven in ten believe that politics does not take young people sufficiently into account. Over half think there are not enough young politicians in Flanders.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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