ortugal held a general election to its 230 seat unicameral election this past Sunday, September 27. The parties and issues in contention in this election were outlined in a preview post. The Socialist government of José Sócrates, which won an outright majority on its own in its 2005 landslide election, was re-elected to a likely minority government with outside support from left or right depending on the case.
226 have been distributed. 4 foreign seats have yet to be distributed, but they should increase only the PS and PSD’s seat count.
PS 36.56% (-8.4%) winning 96 seats (-25)
PSD 29.09% (+0.3%) winning 78 seats (+3)
CDS/PP 10.46% (+3.2%) winning 21 seats (+9)
BE 9.85% (+3.4%) winning 16 seats (+8)
PCP-PEV 7.88% (+0.3%) winning 15 seats (+1)
The map shows quite clearly that the PS picked up votes that had gone to the PCP and BE, but also the PSD in the June European elections. The results of the far-left are pleasing for them, but not as pleasing as the Euros could have let them hope for: undoubtedly, a lot of protest votes for them in the European elections returned home to the PS. In addition, the PSD had a very poor election, barely improving on its disastrous 2005 result. This is probably the result of its poor top candidate, Manuela Ferreira Leite. Their poor result probably explains the CDS/PP’s unexpectedly excellent result. The PCP’s result is poor and it only lives due to its strongholds in the south of Portugal; a bastion of rural communism (the Alentejo is the anti-clerical country of large landowners and a collectivist psyche). Being an old unreformed party, I see it unlikely to appeal to a wider base and win more support.
In terms of possible governments, a PS-BE government has no majority but a PS-CDS government, which did happen in the past is possible and so is a Grand Coalition between PS and PSD. Of course, I think it’s very likely that the PS will try to govern in a minority fashion depending on the left or right for a majority depending on the specific situation.