frente a frente costa catarina.jpg

Portugal’s Socialists could rule now “with just the Left Bloc”, says poll

Portugal’s ruling Socialists have extended their lead in an opinion poll published yesterday (Friday) which also showed that they “could govern with just one of their far left partners, the Left Bloc, if a new election were called”, writes Reuters news agency.

The poll, published in national weekly Expresso, shows support for the PS Socialists has increased 0.5 pecentage points to 36%, while the centre-right opposition PSD have “slipped 0.4% to 32.1”.

Reuters suggests this is “welcome news” for an party that snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in 2015’s hung October elections by teaming up with the Left Bloc and PSP communists to form the most unlikely executive this young democracy has ever seen.

It also suggests that both the allied parties are unlikely to withdraw their supper for the PS, says the international news service, “as they would fare less well if new elections were called”.

Balancing up the results, Reuters explains that the Left Bloc “which is widely seen as easier to deal with for the government than the Communists” slipped 0.8 percentage points to 8.2% in popularity, but even so, together with the PS, would “guarantee a majority due to the distribution of constituencies and seats in parliament”.

Intriguingly perhaps, the poll shows that the Communists’ popularity has actually risen, by 0.3 percentage points to 8.1%.

Up also is the rightist CDS which governed with the PSD until last October.

According to Reuters, the poll was carried out by Eurosondagem between September 7 to 14, and “had a margin of error of 3.08%”.

[email protected]

Photo: Shot from TV pre-election ‘face-to-face’ debate between Left Bloc coordinator Catarina Martins and PS leader António Costa