Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Chart of the Day
31 January 2022

How Portugal’s Socialists triumphed in the general election

The prime minister António Costa has won an unexpected majority after six years in office.

By Nicu Calcea

Portugal’s incumbent Socialist Party won an unexpected majority in the country’s snap general election on Sunday, giving the prime minister a strong new mandate. The election was called after the government lost the support of two smaller left-wing allies, the Communist Party and the Left Bloc, and failed to pass a budget.

 

The results, which gave the Socialists 117 of the 230 seats in parliament and 41.7 per cent of the vote, surprised commentators as opinion polls suggested the party had lost support after six years in office. The party’s main rival, the centre-right Social Democratic Party, won 71 seats and 27.8 per cent of the vote. 

The far right Chega (“Enough”) claimed a small victory as well, finishing third with 12 seats, up from one in the 2019 election. The party has risen to prominence through its anti-Roma and anti-immigration rhetoric. 

While Portugal has managed to roll back austerity measures imposed in the early 2010s and has achieved the highest Covid-19 immunisation rate in Europe, the country remains the poorest in Western Europe. The Socialists must now make the most of the €16.6bn (£13.8bn) of Covid-19 recovery funds that they will receive from the EU. 

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
The cost-of-living crisis is hitting small businesses – Liz Truss must act
How industry is key for net zero
How to ensure net zero brings good growth and green jobs