Les élections législatives du 13 décembre 1987 : Analyse des résultats

  • William Fraeys


Organized only two years after the previous genera! elections, the 1987 poll, characterized by a great stability of the electorale, wilt probably have a deep political impact on the country's future.
If the rate of external mobility suitably gauges the extent of the citizens' shifts in votes, the 1987 elections will have ranged among the four most stable general elections out of the twenty-two that have taken place since universal suffrage has been introduced. And yet, because of the decline of the outgoing coalition, on the one hand, which is mainly due to the loss suffered by the CVP, and because of the change of majority within the Walloon Regional Council and the French-speaking Community Council, on the other, the political situation appears very different after the 13th December 1987 elections.

The observer can only be struck by the asymmetrical behaviour of the voters in the northern and southern parts of the country. In Flanders, the main party is on the decline white all other parties are winning votes.
However, everything seems to show that the motivation of the voters who did not vote twice for the same party in 1985 and 1987, but who, as we said, are not very numerous, was an economic and social motivation
rather than a language or community-related one. The gains of Agalev, the PVV and the SP in the face of the Volksunie's status quo cannot be explained otherwise. The gains of the Vlaams Blok, notably in Antwerp, are probably due to social (attitude towards immigrants) rather than community-linked motivations too. In the W alloon Region, on the contrary, the main party is registering an obvious gain, white the other parties are declining or stagnating. In this case, the motivations seem to be numerous : they have a social and economic background on the part of voters who trusted the main opposition party, but they are also community linked and inspired by considerations that have to do with the relationships between the Walloon and Flemish people in the Belgian State under transformation.
The political prospects then appear uncertain. This is even more true that two other elections are to take place in the next eighteen months.
These concern the opposite levels of the elected Assemblies: the municipal Council and the European Parliament.

How to Cite:

Fraeys, W., (1988) “Les élections législatives du 13 décembre 1987 : Analyse des résultats”, Res Publica 30(1), p.3-24. doi:

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Published on
30 Mar 1988
Peer Reviewed