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Gap closes between Portugal’s main parties ahead of vote: poll

Two months ahead of Portugal’s parliamentary elections, the gap was closing between the outgoing centre right coalition and the Socialist Party, a poll showed on Friday.

Although the Socialists have long enjoyed a lead in opinion polls, a Eurosondagem survey showed the party slipping 0.4 points to 36.3 percent, while Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho’s coalition saw a slight 0.2 point increase to 34.8 percent.

The gap between the two parties now stands at just 1.5 points, according to the poll which questioned 1,030 people and was published in the Expresso weekly.

Although neither camp appears close to securing a clear majority, both Passos Coelho and Socialist Party leader Antonio Costa have rejected the idea of forming a coalition.

Passos Coelho, whose coalition comprises his centre right Social Democrats (PSD) and the conservative CDS-PP party, will seek a second four-year mandate when the vote is held on October 4.