Q1 2016MR-CDh TAKE VICTORY
A cartel between the MR and CDh, the market liberal and christian-democratic parties respectively, has won the inaugural Walloon general elections with a slim Parliamentary majority of 6. The MR and CDh identified 30 constituencies that would be winnable for one of the two parties but for the other splitting the non-PS vote. Therefore, it was agreed that the smaller of the two parties in each of those constituencies would not run, with 18 constituencies only having an MR candidate, and 12 a CDh candidate. In 22 of those constituencies (14 MR, 8 CDh), the operation was successful, leading the centre-right to an historic victory in the first First-Past-the-Post election in independent Wallonia.
The PS remain the largest single party in Parliament, but the MR and CDh campaigns were extremely integrated, to the point that the parties produced a coalition agreement well before
the vote, outlining their plans for the next government. These would include a tough and uncompromising line on Wallonia's massive (138% of GDP) debt level and deficit (5% of GDP) by "effectively dismantling the unsustainable elements of our welfare state," and liberalising business. The PS, however, suggested that a single-party government would be necessary for strong governance, and that the deficit would be best solved by a tax-and-spend agenda, denouncing the MR-CDh plan as "anti-union, anti-people, pro-credit-rating-agency."
However, Charles Michel hit back at Elio di Rupo during the debate, saying that "what you're suggesting is what we've already tried. Tried, tried, and tried again, but it's not working. We need to break the mould and save our nation." Clearly, most voters agreed, with the MR and CDh put together easily scoring more votes than the PS. Ecolo failed to gain any seats in the lower house, likewise the PTB and FN, all victims of the new electoral system.
However, they did gain seats in the National Council, the proportionally-elected upper-house, in which the MR and CDh fell just short of a majority (the system was intended to provide a majority in the dominant lower house, and a fragmented upper house). Curiously, voters in MR-CDh agreement-affected constituencies were unable to vote for the party that has stepped aside, probably to the CDh's detriment and the MR's gain- however, the CDh seems far more interested in the prize in the lower house, which it has definitely gained. They shall get the Foreign Affairs and Finance positions in the new government, alongside several others.
Results in full:
Parti Socialiste: 35.4%, 47 / 11
Mouvement Réformateur: 28.7%, 35 / 9
Centre Democratique Humaniste: 16.1%, 18 / 5
Ecolo: 7.6%, 0 / 2
Parti du Travaille de Wallonie: 5.0%, 0 / 2
Front National: 4.9%, 0 / 1
Others: 2.3%, 0 / 0