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Portugual’s main parties neck and neck two weeks to election

Published on 18/09/2015

Just over two weeks from Portugal's parliamentary elections the Socialist Party holds a slim lead over the ruling right-wing coalition but is not expected to win an absolute majority, an opinion poll released Friday said.

Former Lisbon mayor Antonio Costa’s Socialist Party (PS) holds 35.5 percent of the vote, with current premier Pedro Passos Coelho’s coalition expected to win 34 percent, the Eurosondagem poll said.

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.

Neither of the two parties are expected to win an absolute majority.

According to the poll, published in the weekly Expresso, the coalition could get 99 to 102 seats of Parliament’s 230, compared to 95 to 101 predicted for the PS.

Compared to the last Eurosondagem poll published two weeks ago, the Socialist Party lost half a percentage point, while the coalition dropped one point.

The country is still recovering from its economic crisis of 2011 when Portugal’s economy became the third eurozone country after Ireland and Greece to be bailed out.

It left the bailout scheme in May 2014 but only after implementing stringent austerity measures in return for funding.