Portugal’s general election

Comments invited on today’s general election in Portugal. This election was called early due to the collapse of the outgoing government of Socialist premier Jose Socrates over the country’s financial crisis.

According to The Guardian, “The most recent opinion polls suggest that [opposition PSD leader] Passos Coelho will win and be able to form a government with the support of the rightwing People’s party.”

9 thoughts on “Portugal’s general election

  1. The current Socialist PM is Jose Socrates and not Anibal Cavaco Silva as the post suggests. Cavaco Silva was a Conservative PM in the past, and he is currently the President of the Republic

  2. Results:

    PSD (centre-right) – 38,63% (105 MP)
    PS (socialist) – 28,05% (73 MP)
    CDS/PP (conservative) – 11,74% (24 MP)
    CDU (communist-led) – 7,94% (16 MP)
    BE (radical left) – 5,19% (8 MP)

    http://www.legislativas2011.mj.pt/

    Former election (2009):

    PS – 36,56% (97)
    PSD – 29,11% (81)
    CDS – 10,43% (21)
    BE – 9,81% (16)
    CDU – 7,86% (15)

    http://eleicoes.cne.pt/raster/index.cfm?dia=27&mes=09&ano=2009&eleicao=ar

    Big surge of PSD, small surge of CDS/PP, Communists more or less at the same point, “bloodbath” for the Socialists and the far-left.

    • So is the “far left” farther left than the Communists?

      I have (sort of) gotten used to Portugal having a center-right party called the “Social Democrats.” But I am unclear on the various “lefts.”

      In any case, a very clear swing to the right.

  3. «So is the “far left” farther left than the Communists?»

    Difficult to say – in the portuguese parliament, the “Bloco de Esquerda” (Left Block) sits to the left of the Communist Party. However, the party is a mix of people who are farther left than Communists with people who are probably between the Communists and the Socialists.

    The BE is the result of a merge between the “Partido Socialista Revolucionário” (trotskyist), the “União Democratica Popular” (a party formerly associated with the Albanian communist regime) and the “Politica XXI” (a “modernizer”, pro-perestroika, wing of the Communist Party that leave/was expelled from PCP with the 90s); after that, many people from several roots joined the party, probably having as only common point of agreement to find the Socialists much “right-wing” and the Communists much “dogmatic”. From the original organization, the PSR and UDP are to the left of Communists and the PXXI is probably between the PCP and the PS.

  4. I wonder why the Communist vote held up, while the “other left”, for want of a better term, fell back. Are they perceived as being closer to, or implicated in the policies of, the PS? Or is it just a tribal Communist vote that won’t go anywhere?

  5. “Or is it just a tribal Communist vote that won’t go anywhere?”

    Possibly that (some people say that, while other parties lose votes for rival parties of for abstention, the PCP lose votes for the cemetery).

    In absolute numbers, the PCP/CDU had less votes than in 2009, but had a rise in the percentual vote because of the lower turnout.

    There is also some sociological difference between PCP and BE that can explain the different results – PCP is the traditional party of the blue-collar working class and of the labour unions, while BE is more associated with the “social liberal” middle class (making an analogy – perhaps a bit silly – with the primaries of the Democratic Party, PCP is more “Hillary Clinton”, while BE is more “Barack Obama”).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s