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More than half of Algarvians didn’t vote this past Sunday

More than half of Algarvians did not vote for their political party of choice this Sunday, 6th of October. The abstention rate was 54.17%, rising from the 2015 elections and setting a new regional record. Across the country, only in Bragança were the numbers higher (55.1%).

Abstention in the Algarve was well above the national figures of 45.50%, and at the 2015 election, abstention in the region had been 48.62%. This is a significant increase, possibly indicating a decrease in public interest in politics.

Analyzing municipality by municipality, Monchique was where the most people voted: abstention was only 37.86%. In all other municipalities, the rate was over 40%.

There is a curious fact in all this. It was in the more peripheral municipalities that the the public showed more engaged, with abstention rates being: Aljezur (48.53%), Vila do Bispo (46.75%), Alcoutim (43.75%), and Monchique (37.86%).

On the other end of the spectrum is the infamous holiday destination of Albufeira, the municipality where fewest people went to vote, with an abstention of 59.34%. Soon after, with very close numbers, appears Vila Real de Santo António (59.33%).

But it wasn’t just here that the data was high. In the largest municipality in the Algarve, more than half of the population did not vote. We speak of course of Loulé, which had an abstention rate of 57.2%.

Another curiosity is that Lagos, who elected Maria Joaquina Matos, former mayor, as their Socialist Party MP, had a high abstention rate of 55.08%.

In Faro, the capital of the Algarve, almost half of voters did not visit the polling stations. Abstention was slightly less than 50%, standing at 49.48%.

As for Portimão, the second most influential city in the regional scenario, abstention also exceeded half the voting population: 54.4%.

The numbers for the remaining municipalities were: Olhão (56.99%), Silves (52.34%), Lagoa (52.45%), São Brás de Alportel (50.78%), Tavira (50.97%) and Castro Marim (53.12%).

In these elections, the Socialist Party was the most voted party in the 16 Algarve municipalities. The Algarve seats in the Assembly of the Republic were distributed as so: PS (5), PSD (3) and Left Block (1).

Already in the European Elections in May of this year, the abstention rate in the Algarve had been very high, standing at a massive 73.08%. Although traditionally abstention is higher in the European elections, the number of Algarvians who will vote, whatever the electoral act, seems to be steadily decreasing.

It appears that in this election, staying at home on the sofa was the true winner.