Friday

13th Dec 2019

Ruling socialists win Portugal election, but no majority

  • 'The PS will strive to find solutions that ensure this stability for the entire legislature,' Portuguese prime minister António Costa said (Photo: Partido Socialista)

Portuguese prime minister António Costa's Socialist Party (PS) won Sunday's (6 October) parliamentary election - increasing from 85 to 106 lawmakers in the 230-seat parliament, but short of an outright majority.

The PS won with 36.6 percent of the votes, followed by the centre-right Social Democrats (PSD) with 27.9 percent (77 seats), the Left Bloc (19 seats) with 9.6 percent and the Communist together with the Greens with 6.4 percent (12 seats), according to results released by the interior ministry early on Monday.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

"It's clear from this election that the PS is reinforced and the allied parties consolidated their positions," Costa told cheering supporters after the elections.

The far-right political group Chega! (Enough!) got one seat in the parliament - the first time a far-right party enters Portugal's parliament since the end of Salazar's dictatorship in 1974.

The opposition conservative group CDS had their worst result since 1991, prompting the resignation of their leader Assunção Cristas.

"We face the democratic result with humility," she said.

However, Sunday's election turnout was just 54.5 percent, the lowest level for a general election since 1974.

Coalition allies

The results force Costa to find allies for a coalition government once again - aiming for a full majority of 116 seats.

After the last general election in 2015 in which the Socialists finished second, Costa convinced within two months the Communists and the Left Bloc to support a minority Socialist government called 'Geringonça' or improvised solution.

This election's result showed that the Portuguese like the political solution of 'Geringonca', Costa said on Sunday.

"Stability is essential for Portugal's international credibility and for attracting investors. The PS will strive to find solutions that ensure this stability for the entire legislature," he added.

Both the Left Bloc and the Communists said they would back the Socialists once again.

According to the leader of the Communist party, Jeronimo de Souza, "there is no obstacle for the president to appoint the prime minister and for the government to be formed and start working".

"We will determine our position depending on the PS' choices, on its budget instruments and the content of its legislative proposals," he added.

A strengthened PS has also the opportunity to partner with the People-Animals-Nature party (PAN), which won four seats (3.2 percent) up from one in 2015 - PAN has supported Costa's budget in the past.

Under the 'Geringonça' formula, economic growth in Portugal was higher than the European average in recent years – 2.4 percent in 2018 – and the unemployment rate similar to the level before the debt crisis (6.7 percent).

Analysis

How Portugal's leftist 'contraption' works

After six months in power, the improvised left-wing coalition between socialists, leftists and communists has managed to rule and even thrived, to many Portuguese's surprise.

Portugal held up as symbol of EU recovery

Portugal to sail out of troubled waters after eight years of financial crisis, EU commission predicted, amid broad but "fragile" recovery in European economy.

Kurz wins in Austria with best result since 2002

Leader of the conservative People's Party (ÖVP) Sebastian Kurz won Sunday's snap parliamentary election in Austria with 38.4 percent of the vote, after he lost a confidence vote in May due to the 'Ibiza scandal'.

Leaders face crucial EU summit for climate action

EU leaders are meeting on Thursday and Friday in three different formats: a regular summit to discuss the EU's long-term budget and the 2050 climate-neutrality goal, a European Council (Article 50) meeting, and a European summit.

News in Brief

  1. EU Scream podcast wins media award
  2. Sturgeon will set out Scottish independence plan next week
  3. Slovenia, Croatia ex-leaders highlight jailed Catalans
  4. Italian court tells Facebook to reopen fascist party's account
  5. EU extends sanctions on Russia until mid-2020
  6. UK exit poll gives Johnson majority of 86
  7. Orban: 'financial guarantees' to reach climate neutrality
  8. Merkel hopes EU leaders agree 2050 climate-neutrality

Wilmès becomes first female PM of Belgium

On Sunday, Sophie Wilmès was appointed as the new prime minister of Belgium - becoming the first female head of government in the country's history. She replaces Charles Michel who becomes president of the European Council.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Latest News

  1. EU values face scrutiny This WEEK
  2. EU sighs relief after 'decisive' Johnson victory in UK
  3. Huge win for Conservatives in UK election
  4. Behind bars: a visit to an imprisoned Catalan politician
  5. Leaders agree 2050 climate neutrality - without Poland
  6. EU leaders cagey on 'Future of Europe' conference
  7. Pressure mounts to grill Malta's Muscat at EU summit
  8. Revealed: little evidence to justify internal border checks

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us