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Slim lead for Portuguese opposition ahead of June vote

Published on 28/05/2011

Portugal's opposition Social Democrats (PSD) maintained a narrow lead over the ruling Socialists in new voter surveys Saturday but were forecast to fall short of an overall majority in next weekend's elections.

According to polls conducted by the Publico daily and the Expresso news weekly, the PSD were likely to win between 33.9 percent and 35.8 percent in the election on June 6.

That gave them a lead of around two percentage points over outgoing Prime Minister Jose Socrates’ Socialist party which polled between 32.3 percent and 34.1 percent.

The right-wing CDS party was predicted to win between 11 and 13 percent of votes in the contest which was triggered by Socrates’ resigation in March after he failed to win parliamentary support for stiff austerity measures.

The prime minister was subsequently forced to seek a European Union and International Monetary Fund bailout to repay nearly five billion euros ($7 billion) in maturing debt.