Portugal: absolute majority for the Socialists

The Socialist Party of Portugal's head of government António Costa has won the early parliamentary elections by a surprisingly clear margin, even gaining an absolute majority. Costa's PS won 41.6 percent of the vote and 117 of the 230 seats in the country's parliament, the Assembleia da República. The conservative PSD was left trailing with just 27.9 percent of the vote.

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Eco - Economia Online (PT) /

Fatigue and doubts dispelled

Costa and his Socialists have defied all odds, writes ECO:

“António Costa has achieved what he himself thought was impossible a week ago when he stopped talking about an absolute majority. He has withstood everything: the wear and tear of six years in power, the unpopularity of many of his ministers, the criticism that his government is arrogant, two years of pandemic that have turned Portuguese lives upside down. ... The prime minister and the PS, who had shown signs of fatigue, now seem reinvigorated by the vote. ... The dreaded doubts about how to govern have been dispelled. The state budget for 2022 will be presented to parliament shortly.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

Modesty gave him a clear victory

Above all the prime minister has come out the winner, La Repubblica explains:

“For António Costa, one of the longest-serving Portuguese politicians since the Carnation Revolution (which has earned him the nickname 'Duracell') this was a key test. ... The former mayor of Lisbon put his role as secretary-general of the Socialist Party and his political future on the line. After attacking his direct rival, Social Democratic Party leader Rui Rio, and demanding an absolute majority, he changed his strategy. He refrained from trying to win a majority of seats as this attempt had drawn the antipathy of the Portuguese. Instead, he looked around for allies.”

Jornal de Notícias (PT) /

The Portuguese want stability

Costa must show willingness to compromise despite his absolute majority, writes Jornal de Notícias:

“The Socialist leader's victory is overwhelming and shows that the Portuguese have clearly opted for stability. The PS has responded to warnings of fatigue and a lack of strategic direction with a result that leaves nothing to negotiate and that destroys the parties to its left. ... António Costa must govern on the basis of compromise with the Portuguese people and earn the trust placed in him. And he must dare to take a path of reform and development for which he now has all the prerequisites. Only in this way can he do justice to the country's choice.”