Jean-Claude Juncker (right) is likely to ask the DP led by Xavier Bettel (far left) to form a government, leaving Ettiene Schneider (second right) and François Bausch out in the cold.
Photo: Sven Becker (archive)
Election 2013: The Democratic Party won votes across the country in Sunday’s polls.
With results now in from all four constituencies, the political landscape in Luxembourg is no clearer than it was before Sunday’s election. Even though voters seem to have delivered a clear message in some respects, the distribution of seats in the next parliament leaves the leaders of the major political parties several options open regarding the formation of the next government.
Despite being a major loser in terms vote share, the ruling CSV party still retains the largest number of seats in parliament--it now has 23 seats in the chamber of deputies, a loss of three. The LSAP, the junior coalition partner led by Etienne Schneider, lost ground in its traditional southern strongholds, though without surrendering a seat. And although it was one of three parties to lose seats in the centre constituency (along with the CSV and the Greens), the LSAP did gain a seat at the expense of the populist ADR in the north.
With a gain of four seats the DP is the biggest winner of this election--which in some ways is reminiscent of the 1999 result. It has won two seats in the centre, where its leading candidate was hugely popular Luxembourg city mayor Xavier Bettel. It also won seats in the south and east, both at the expense of the CSV. Back in 1999 it was then Luxembourg city mayor Lydie Polfer who lead the DP to triumph and a role as junior coalition partner (ironically, if Xavier Bettel were to enter government as a minister that would leave Polfer in position to step into his shoes as leader of the city council.) And that could be the way things pan out this time.
Following Sunday’s results, Grand Duke Henri will ask Jean-Claude Juncker of the CSV to form a government, and the prime minister has already congratulated the DP on its election success. The Democratic Party leadership will have to decide whether it can get into bed with the CSV or whether it should decline the offer and try to form a three-way coalition with the LSAP and Déi Gréng.
That looks like a difficult task given that the Greens (whose de facto leader is François Bausch) saw their share of the vote fall across the board, and look set to lose a seat in parliament, leaving it with 6 seats in the chamber of deputies. And while the LSAP has remained steady with 13 seats, its share of the popular vote fell.
The left wing Déi Lénk continues its rise in the centre (at the 2011 local elections it won seats onto Luxembourg city council) and won an additional seat there to take its number of seats in parliament to two. The ADR also lost a seat as it continued its downward spiral from the height of its popularity in 2004. The new Piraten Party performed well in its first election winning well over three percent of the vote, while the communist KPL saw its vote drop and the other new party, the PID failed to make a real impression.