Les élections législatives du 17 décembre 1978 : Analyse des résultats

  • William Fraeys


This article is a summary of the results of the parliamentary election held on 17th December 1978. The balloting came in the wake of an early dissolution of the legislative bodies («Chamber» and «Senate») elected in 1977.
The main feature of the election is that voters largely confirmed the 1977 voting patterns and that the new bodies wilt be very similar to the former ones.
The only really significant trend is the falling off of Volksunie (Flemish federalists) and the ahead  movement of Flemish liberals (PVV). A second characteristic, together with an increased number of blank or spoilt ballot papers, is a slight breakthrough of new or minor lists of candidates, e.g. the Democratiec Union for Respect of Work, an anti-tax party, and a number of «green» lists.
It came rather as a surprise that the Flemish Christian Democrats (CVP) lost some ground, as public opinion polls and political observers had forecast a gain.
It seems that the Flemish liberal promises for tax cuts attracted CVP voters to some extent, resulting in that party not fully cashing in on the Volksunie drop.
In the Walloon region the balloting was characterized by a Socialist loss, and a gain by Christian Democrats (PSC).
The Chambers elected in 1978 are constituent bodies. For the time being it cannot be said whether they will be in a position to achieve pacification between the Flemish and French-speaking communities and
to put an end to the long controversy concerning devolution which has been prevailing on the Belgian political scene for many years.

How to Cite:

Fraeys, W., (1979) “Les élections législatives du 17 décembre 1978 : Analyse des résultats”, Res Publica 21(2), p.309-328. doi:

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Published on
29 Jun 1979
Peer Reviewed