The lack of trust in politics and ideology were decisive in the electoral success of the radical parties on 26 May, according to a survey conducted by a team of researchers from ULB (Brussels Uni.), VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussels) and KUL (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven).
The researchers found initially that trust in politicians has declined by about one point on a scale of 0 to 10, compared to 2009 and 2014 elections.
According to their analysis, this has influenced the people’s voting behaviour. The majority of low-political-trust electors voted for Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interests), for the Flemish, and PTB (labour party), on the Walloon side. Whereas, in 2014 the N-VA (Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie) attracted the largest number of this category’s Flemish voters.
People holding high political trust have meanwhile more frequently voted for the CD & V (Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams), Groen or N-VA, or CDH (former Socialist party), Ecolo or the MR (Reformed).
Besides their low level of political trust, electors of the radical parties also have in common their dissatisfaction with the regional government and their negative feeling towards politics in general.
Vlaams Belang and PTB electors show little interest in politics, unlike those who voted for PvdA (Social-Democrat Labour).
However, it is not only a lack of trust that guided the votes for Vlaams Belang and PTB-PvdA, the researchers said. In Flanders, the most important determinants of electoral choice of Vlaams Belang are a high score on the right of the left-right spectrum, low satisfaction in democracy and poor education. Gender had no influence on this electoral behaviour.
PWB voters in Wallonia, however, are more often on the left of the left-right spectrum and are usually between 18 and 34 years old.
The Brussels Times