Votes for climate: green issue salience and preferences, and regional differences in the electoral success of green parties in the 2019 Belgian federal elections

Ward Peeters, Hilde Coffé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the increased importance of environmental issues across Europe, there was considerable regional variation in the successes of green parties during the 2019 Belgian federal elections. While the green party in Wallonia (Ecolo) performed electorally well, the green party in Flanders (Groen) was not able to reach a similar success. In the current study, we investigate to what extent two classic voting models (the spatial model and the issue salience model) can explain the regional difference in the success of the green parties in the 2019 federal elections in Belgium. Our analyses, relying on data from the 2019 EOS RepResent post-election survey, show that voters who considered the green issue salient and who were in favour of environmental protection supported green parties, in particular when they also associated green issue ownership with green parties. This pattern holds in both Flanders and Wallonia, though Ecolo seemed more successful in attracting these voters than Groen did. This may at least partly explain the regional difference in the success of the green parties. In addition, the green issue was more salient in Wallonia than in Flanders.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Politica
Early online date2 May 2024
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2024

Data Availability Statement

The data are available upon request trough the following link:


  • 2019 Belgian federal elections
  • Green issue ownership
  • Green issue preferences
  • Green issue salience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations

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