By law the Belgium electorate is under compulsion to vote, so, dutifully, six million Belgians went to the polls.
By law the Belgium electorate is under compulsion to vote, so, dutifully, six million Belgians went to the polls. The results represent a swing to the Left; the Christian Socialists coming off best with 104 seats out of the total 212. This is an improvement over the 1954 results, when the party obtained 96 seats. Next in the running was the Socialist Party, with 83 against 85, in 1954. The Liberals lost four seats, with only 20 this time. The Liberal-Socialist bloc maintained their position with 2 seats, while the Communists suffered a setback, losing 50% of their seats, ending up with 2. The Single Vote Party was the same as before, retaining their one seat. These results are for the Chamber of Deputies. In the Senate the pattern is similar.
With 106 of the 175 seats distributed by direct vote the Christian Socialists took 54, as against 49 in the last Parliament. The Socialist lost three seats and now have 39. The Liberals obtained ten seats, one less than in 1954, while the Liberal-Socialist bloc held their two and the Communists suffered a 50% lose, getting only one seat. The remaining 69 seats are divided up among provincial and co-opted senators.
Thus, the trend is increasing support for the clerical socialists in preference to the untainted Socialist Party. Although the largest single party in the Parliament, the Christian Socialists will have to share their governmental responsibilities, probably with the Socialists.