• European elections in Portugal: Anti-capitalist left takes 21% of the votes

  • By João Romão | 16 Jun 09 | Posted under: Portugal , Elections
  • Bloco de Esquerda and the coalition leaded by the Communist Party reinforced their positions in the elections for the European Parliament. Following the tendencies across Europe, the Socialist Party in the government had an important defeat.

    The impact of the economic crisis in the Portuguese society, namely a dramatic increase in unemployment, and the absence of credible proposals from the Socialist government to face it, lead to one of the most important defeats suffered by the Socialist Party in the portuguese elections. The Socialists couldn't get more than 26,57% of the votes (7 MPs), after getting 44,53% in 2005 (12 MPs). 

    On the contrary, the anti-capitalist left had excellent results, with more than 21% of the votes and 5 deputies (3 in 2005). Bloco de Esquerda, which had elected one member for the European Parliament for the first time in 2004, was able to elect 3 MPs now, getting 10,73% of the votes (4,9% in 2004). "Justice in the Economy" was the main topic of the campaign of Bloco de Esquerda, when unemployment grows and new bank frauds are successively revealed in Portugal.

    The coalition leaded by the Communist Party could reach 10,66% of the votes (9,09% in 2004), keeping two deputies in the European Parliament. Bloco de Esquerda and the Communist Party had together 21,39% of the votes, almost the same as the Socialist Party (26,57%). In 2004, the Socialists (44,5%) had tripled the votes that the anti-capitalist forces could get (14%).

    The right wing also took some benefit from the defeat of the Socialists. The Social Democratic Party (in fact, a liberal party, of which Durão Barroso is a member of) was the most voted party, 31,69%, and elected 8 MPs. In 2004, this party get into a coalition with Popular Party, electing together 9 deputies. In 2009, the Popular Party kept the same two MPs that were already in the European Parliament.

    These results show that in the election for the Portuguese Parliament, which is to be held next September or October, it will be very difficult for the Socialists to keep their absolute majority (or even to be the most voted party). That will be a new big challenge for the left in Portugal.

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