Gemeenteraadsverkiezingen en verstedelijking

  • Wilfried Dewachter


This study aims to state the relation between the nature of municipal elections and the degree of urbanisation of the municipalities. In Belgium the municipal elections show a very great diversity in their electoral figures . Five categories of electoral figures are frequent : elections without competition (in the map as : verkiezingen zonder strijd), totally local electoral figure (in the map as : uitsluitend plaatselijke verkiezingsgestalte), predominantly local electoral figure (in the map as : overwegend plaatselijke verkiezingsgestalte), mixed electoral figure (in the map as : gemengde verkiezingsgestalte), predominantly national electoral figure (in the map as : overwegend nationale verkiezingsgestalte). The two existing operationalizations of urbanisation in Belgium are used for the urbanisation degree of the municipalities : that of W. Van Waelvelde and H. Van der Haegen as well as that of I. De Lanoo, U. Claeys and M. Sansen.  The frequency of the different types of electoral figures at the municipal elections, seen in the categories of urbanisation according to both above mentioned operationalizations, indicates a positive relation between growing urbanisation and the shifting from local to predominantly national electoral figures. This does not mean that the predominantly national electoral figure can be found exclusively in the highest category of urbanisation, nor that the exclusively local electoral figure and the elections without competition can only happen in rural regions. But it is a fact that the gravity-centre of the rather national electoral figures lies in urbanised municipalities and towns, whereas the gravity- centre of local electoral figures lies in rural municipalities. See graphic I (operationalization W. Van Waelvelde and H. Van der Haegen) and graphic II ( operationalization I. De Lanoo, U. Claeys and M. Sansen). As the used, urbanisation-operationalizations are not totally unidimensional, this research can furnish only an argument for H. Bahrdt's thesis of the «Verfall der kommunalen öffentlichkeit» and for the parallel hypothesis of the tenuous zone, formulated by Sj . Groenman.

How to Cite:

Dewachter, W., (1970) “Gemeenteraadsverkiezingen en verstedelijking”, Res Publica 12(3), p.289-309. doi:

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Published on
29 Sep 1970
Peer Reviewed