Portugal’s right widens advantage over left
Following two months of what are dubbed ‘the pre-election campaign’, only CHEGA – Portugal’s third political force, universally ‘reviled’ as ‘extreme right’ by those above and below it – is the only party that has advanced in people’s ‘voting intentions’.
The latest poll conducted for Expresso and SIC by ICS/ ICSTE shows PS Socialists and AD (the democratic alliance involving PSD/ CDS-PP/ PPM and independents) “stagnant” (with 29% and 27% of votes respectively after redistributing the ‘undecided’), while CHEGA has already managed more than 20%, with everything pointing to the lead continuing.
On paper, this shows the right ahead of the left if pacts can be forged. But this is the big ‘question’: 64% (roughly 2/3rds) of PSD voters refuse the idea of any kind of agreement with CHEGA, “but also do not want to see the party removed from power if it wins”.
In other words, PSD voters do not want to see a coalition of the left snatch victory from defeat, as happened in 2015.
Equally, CHEGA voters are seen to prefer to allow a government led by Luís Montenegro of the PSD take office, than a stalemate that prompts new elections (in another six months’ time).
With 16% of the electorate ‘undecided’, the conclusion is that televised debates between party leaders could be ‘even more decisive’ than they are usually.
The Resident hopes to outline the various parties’ election pledges over the weekend, before these debates begin next Monday.
Meantime, the election campaign in the Azores has officially ended today, ahead of voting scheduled for Sunday, with PS Socialists here on the mainland and in the Azores all warning of the possibility of the PSD remaining in power by doing a deal with CHEGA.