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  • Schuyler Beltrami

Socialist Party Retains Majority in Portuguese Parliament

The most recent legislative elections in Portugal led to a rare absolute majority for one party.

PM António Costa (Photo: Wikipedia)

Snap elections held on January 30th in Portugal have led to a key victory for incumbent Prime Minister António Costa and his Socialist Party (PS). The snap elections were held after the government’s budget plan for 2022 was not approved by Parliament, leading to a breakdown in the coalition between the Socialist Party and Communist Party. The result of the election is significant, as it will give the PS only the second absolute majority of seats in the party’s long history. With the lone exception of the outlying island of Madeira, the Socialist Party also won every region of Portugal, including a strong showing in the country’s central heartland.

The key opponent to the PS in this election was the Social Democratic Party (PSD), a liberal-conservative party whose result was far worse than observers and pollsters expected. The PSD still finished, as expected, in second place, but did lose three seats. In total, eight different parties will earn seats in the next session of Parliament, with the PS’s former coalition partner, the Communist Party (PCP) coming in fifth place in the election. For the first time ever, the center-right to right-wing People’s Party (CDS) lost all their seats in the Parliament, leading to party leader Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos’ resignation after the results were made official. Although the turnout for the election is low amongst European standards at 57.9%, it was the highest turnout for a legislative election in Portugal since 2011, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite earning a total of only 41.7% of votes, this was enough to give PS a total of 117 seats in the Parliament, one more than necessary for an absolute majority. Still, Prime Minister Costa did not rule out finding a coalition partner, saying that “absolute majority doesn’t mean absolute power”, according to reporting in The Guardian. Election observers pointed to the coalescence around Costa by voters from the Left Bloc (BE) and Unitary Democratic Coalition (PCP-PEV) as a key reason for his high margin of victory.

This election was the first of three elections which The Millennial Agora looked out during the first quarter of 2022. For our full coverage of this election, plus upcoming elections in Mali and South Korea, we invite you to read our past article here.

The full results of the election are below:

*No responsibility is taken by the Millennial Agora for the accuracy of results

· PS: Socialist Party (Social-Democracy)

· PSD: Social Democratic Party (Liberal-Conservatism)

· CH: Chega (National Conservatism, Right-Wing Populism)

· IL: Liberal Initiative (Classic Liberalism)

· PCP: Portuguese Communist Party (Marxism-Leninism)

· BE: Left Bloc (Left-Wing to Far-Left Socialism)

· PAN: People-Animal-Nature (Environmentalism and Animal Rights)

· LIVRE: LIVRE (Eco-Socialism)

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