Portugal to vote in the legislative elections. Costa towards reconfirmation

Polls are open in Portugal, where early elections have been called to renew Parliament following the fall of the center-left ruling coalition last autumn. The polls will close at 7 pm local time, 8 pm in Italy. About 10.8 million people called to vote.

Election round uncertain

An election that, according to the latest Portuguese media polls, is uncertain. The Socialist Party of the outgoing premier Antonio Costa has the advantage, but the center-right rivals of the Social Democratic Party are only a few percentage points away. At the beginning of last November, leader Costa’s party was leading by 13 points, when the rejection of the 2022 budget by former left allies triggered the government crisis. But, according to the latest polls, the Socialist Party is now at 35-36% of the votes while the center-right, represented by the Social Democratic Party of the former mayor of Porto Riu Rio, has reached 33%, and the percentage of undecided is between 15 and 20% of the 10.8 million voters called to the polls.

“Technical parity” in the polls

In the language of the pollsters, this is a “technical parity” which makes the two opposite scenarios equally possible. Whoever wins will have to reach a pact of alliance with the minority parties of his parliamentary sphere, but an agreement between the two main parties may be necessary: ​​without arriving, as already happened in 1983, in a sort of large Portuguese-style koalition, yes points to a “gentlemen agreement” to facilitate a party-led government with more votes in the event that sufficient left or right majorities are not formed.

The pandemic

The country faces these elections while it is grappling with a strong wave of Covid: there are about 1.2 million currently positives in isolation who will still be able to vote with specific health measures. The National Electoral Commission has assured that it will be possible to express one’s preference in “absolute safety”. “There is no doubt that voting is safe, so there is no justification for any citizen not to vote because he is’ fearful of his own health,” Commission number one Vera Penedo said at a press conference, insisting on the fact that “everyone should vote”.