The socialist António Costa wins the elections in Portugal and is close to the absolute majority

The Socialist Party (PS) of Prime Minister António Costahas won the legislative elections in Portugal with the 41.62% of the votes, what could allow rule alonewith 98.85% scrutiny already done, according to the Portuguese Ministry of Internal Administration.

The second most voted force has been the Social Democratic Party (PSD), of Rui Rio, which stands with 28% of votesfollowed by the The extreme right party arriveswhich achieved 7.13% of votes, and rises from seventh to third force.

behind is Liberal Initiative, with 4.92% of the votes, and the Left Blockthird most voted force in 2019, which falls to fifth position with the 4.44% of the votes. For its part, the Unitary Democratic Coalitionformed by the Portuguese Communist Party and the Ecologist Party, is the sixth force with a 4.34% of the votes.

In view of the results obtained so far, the socialist candidate has affirmed that the Portuguese want their party to rule. “Let’s wait for the final results, but there is a more or less obvious fact: the Socialist Party has won these elections“, he told the Portuguese radio and television RTP.

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The President of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, has congratulating Costa on his victory via a Twitter message and pointed out that “Portugal has opted once again for a social democratic project that combines growth and social justice“Together we will continue to promote a socialist response to the challenges we share in our countries and in Europe,” he added.

Participation in these legislative elections has exceeded 57.63%. In the 2019 elections, abstention reached 51%. In this sense, the socialist leader, António Costa, applauded the “civic sense” of the Portuguese.

The scrutiny has once again called into question the reliability of the pre-election polls. Most pointed to the victory of António Costa, but in the final stretch of the campaign they predicted a very fragmented political map with a tie between the prime minister and Rui Rio, of the Social Democratic Party (PSD, center-right).

Voters punish the BE and the communists in favor of Costa

The elections were called after the failure of the 2022 Budgets of the Government of Costa. In October, the Communist Party and the Left Bloc, partners in the “lowonca“gestated in 2019, they knocked down the accounts for their disagreement in measures for VAT in light, wages or the fight against poverty.

After the results, the leader of the Portuguese Communist Party, Jerónimo de Sousa, has accused the PS of ignore the problems of the Portuguese seeking “the absolute majority” and has recognized that the votes obtained by his party reflect a “electoral breakdown with a significant loss of deputies“.

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The socialist António Costa has achieved a higher percentage of votes than in 2019 and is close to achieving an absolute majority, which shows that in these elections it has come out stronger, while the voters have punished the Left Bloc and the Communist Party, surpassed by the Liberal Initiative party, as well as by the center-right force PSD and the ultra-right Chega in these elections.

The prime minister, after the latest polls showed a technical tie with the candidate Rui Rio, opened the door to dialogue and pacts with the left and a new “geringonca”, the alliance between the PS, the Left Bloc and communists that in 2015 brought the Prime Minister to the Government.

Disappointment among conservatives

After the hope of returning to power based on the forecasts of the latest polls, the PSD’s defeat has dealt a blow to a party that revives the debate on the political future of its leader, Rui Rio, who suffers his second defeat against the Socialists.

In the 2019 elections, the PSD obtained 27.76% of the support, one of the worst results in its historyand now it only goes up two points.

Antonio Costa, the former mayor of Lisbon with a political life of ingenious and unusual initiatives

Rio has admitted that the electoral result is “much lower than what we thought”but he has detailed that the party has made a campaign budget that even with that result “there is no debt for this campaign“. In addition, the leader of the PSD has greeted “democratically all my opponents, clearly emphasizing Costa, who is the clear winner”, whom he has congratulated by phone.

The vice-president of the PSD, David Justino, has also recognized the defeat of his party and has congratulated the Socialist Party for its victory, although he has alerted to socialist “triumphalism”.

The extreme right rises to third force

For its part, the far-right party Chega, led by André Ventura, has achieved become the third political force in Portugal. In the legislative elections held in 2019, the party won a seat. Ventura began his political life in the conservative PSD, but in 2019 he founded his current force.

The Chega leader has affirmed that the election results are “bad” for the country if António Costa becomes prime minister again”.

Low abstention in elections marked by the pandemic

This Sunday’s elections are the first legislative ones to be held in Portugal in a pandemic and they come at a time of record of infections and confined. There are 1.2 million confined people in the country, of which 800,000 have the right to vote.

Due to the omicron variant, early voting has been promoted in these elections, a formula that was accepted by more than 300,000 voters on January 23, including Mr. The socialist candidate António Costa. For their part, the voters confined by the coronavirus have been able to go to the polls to cast their ballots between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The experts expected that abstention would exceed that registered in the 2019 elections, which was 51%, and, so far, it is expected that this time it will be around 40%.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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