Lisbon Mayor sweeps the polls: Passos watch out!

Lisbon Mayor sweeps the polls: Passos watch out!

If next year’s elections were due this week, Socialist mayor of Lisbon António Costa would wipe the floor with Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho.
As the PSD PM is in hot water over his own Tecnoforma scandal – and has admitted that austerity is here to stay, despite all the government spin about recovery – the Cheshire cat grin of the Socialist Party’s new Golden Boy is suddenly proving irresistible.
A poll by CM/Aximage puts Costa ahead with a 40.2% lead – effectively blasting a massive hole in the PSD/CDS chances – and it shows an interesting potential for coalition, if Costa thinks he might need one.
According to the poll, the next personality most liked in politics is the PCP Communist Party’s outspoken Jerónimo de Sousa.
But as the saying goes, a week is a long time in politics, let alone a year.
Perhaps the only real use of the poll is to show how, despite the government’s insistence that there is no other way, people are unconvinced and anxious for change.
Meantime this morning President Cavaco Silva is understood to be meeting with Costa at Belém Palace.
As Público points out, it is unprecedented for a President to receive a prime ministerial candidate who has not yet been officially named as the leader of his party.
Five days before the government is due to present its 2015 budget, Público suggests the meeting shows just how much pressure weighs on the PSD/CDS-PP coalition.
It may be that Cavaco sees in Costa the popular appeal that could finally bind the country to the national consensus for which the President has long been appealing.