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Volksunie

People's Union
Volksunie
Union du peuple
Founded 1954
Succeeded by New Flemish Alliance (right-wing faction) and Spirit (centre-left faction)
Ideology Flemish nationalism,
Federalism
Politics of Belgium
Political parties
Elections

People's Union (Dutch: Volksunie, VU) was a Flemish nationalist[1][2] political party in Belgium, formed in 1954 as a successor to the Christian Flemish People's Union.

The party initially proved successful and had members elected to the Chamber of Representatives (five) and the Senate (two) of the Belgian Federal Parliament in 1961. The party continued to grow in stature and reached the 11.0% at the national level in 1978 elections, gaining 21 representatives. Generally, however, the Volksunie preferred to position itself around the centre and saw itself as a coalition of various shades of Flemish thought.

The acceptance of federalism in place of separatism by VU in the 1970s did not sit well with the party's right-wing and a split became inevitable, particularly after the party entered the coalition government of Leo Tindemans (CVP, Christian-Democrat). The right wing organized itself in the Vlaams Blok, which became a much stronger political force and surpassed Volksunie at the beginning of the Nineties (6.6% against VU's 5.9% in 1991 elections).

Volksunie continued its decline (5.6% in 1999 elections against the 9.9% of the Blok), while the left-right struggle re-emerged in 2001, and finally the party split into the New-Flemish Alliance (the right-wing) and Spirit (the left-wing). Both parties were participating in federal and regional elections as part of a cartel, the New-Flemish Alliance forming an alliance with CD&V, and Spirit with the SP.a, but in the meantime these cartels split up.

Electoral results

Federal Parliament

Chamber of Representatives

Election year # of overall votes  % of overall vote  % of language
group vote
# of overall seats won # of language
group seats won
+/- Government Notes
1954 113,632 2.2 (#6) Template:Infobox political party/seats in opposition
1958 104,823 2.0 (#5) Template:Infobox political party/seats Steady 0 in opposition
1961 182,407 3.1 (#4) Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 4 in opposition
1965 346,860 6.7 (#4) Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 7 in opposition
1968 506,697 9.8 (#4) Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 8 in opposition
1971 586,917 11.1 (#3) Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 1 in opposition
1974 536,287 10.0 (#4) Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 1 in opposition
1977 559,567 10.0 Template:Infobox political party/seats Decrease 2 in coalition
1978 388,762 7.0 Template:Infobox political party/seats Decrease 6 in coalition
1981 588,436 9.8 Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 6 in opposition
1985 477,755 7.9 Template:Infobox political party/seats Decrease 4 in opposition
1987 495,120 8.1 Template:Infobox political party/seats Steady 0 in coalition
1991 363,124 5.9 Template:Infobox political party/seats Decrease 6 in opposition
1995 283,516 4.7 Template:Infobox political party/seats Decrease 5 in opposition
1999 345,576 5.6 Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 3 in opposition

Regional parliaments

Flemish Parliament

Election year # of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
 % of language
group vote
# of
overall seats won
# of language
group seats won
+/– Government Notes
1995 338,173 9.0 Template:Infobox political party/seats in opposition
1999 359,226 9.3 Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 2 in coalition

European Parliament

Election year # of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
 % of electoral
college vote
# of
overall seats won
# of electoral
college seats won
+/– Notes
1979 324,540 9.7 Template:Infobox political party/seats Template:Infobox political party/seats
1984 484,494 13.9 Template:Infobox political party/seats Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 1
1989 318,153 8.7 Template:Infobox political party/seats Template:Infobox political party/seats Decrease 1
1994 262,043 7.1 Template:Infobox political party/seats Template:Infobox political party/seats Steady 0
1999 471,238 7.6 12.2 Template:Infobox political party/seats Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 1

References

See also

  • List of political parties in Flanders
Template:Belgium-party-stub
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