The European elections in Portugal use, as any other elections, the D'Hondt Method voting system. This means there are no barring clauses or thresholds.
The results are as following:
Partido Socialista (PS) [Socialist Party] = 31,5% = 8 MEPs
1. Francisco José Pereira de Assis Miranda
2. Maria João Fernandes Rodrigues
3. José Carlos das Dores Zorrinho
4. Elisa Maria da Costa Guimarães Ferreira
5. Ricardo da Piedade Abreu Serrão Santos
6. Ana Maria Rosa Martins Gomes
7. Manuel Pedro Cunha da Silva Pereira
8. Liliana Maria Gonçalves Rodrigues de Góis
Aliança Portugal (AP) [Alliance for Portugal] = PSD (Partido Social-Democrata) + PP (Partido Portugal) [Coalitian between the Social Democratic Party and the Popular Party] – Coalition that is in Government now = 27,7% = 7 MEPs
1. Paulo Artur dos Santos Castro de Campos Rangel
2. Fernando de Carvalho Ruas
3. Sofia Heleno Santos Roque Ribeiro
4. João Nuno Lacerda Teixeira de Melo
5. Carlos Miguel Maximiano de Almeida Coelho
6. Cláudia Sofia Gomes Monteiro de Aguiar
7. José Manuel Ferreira Fernandes
Coligação Democrática Unitária (CDU) = Partido Comunista Português (PCP) + Partido Ecologista “Os Verde” (PEV) [Democratic Unitarian Coalition = Portuguese Comunist Party + Ecologist Party “The Greens”] - 12,7% = 3 MEPs
1. João Manuel Peixoto Ferreira
2. Inês Cristina Quintas Zuber
3. Miguel Lopes Batista Viegas
Partido da Terra (MPT) [Party of the Land] = 7,1%= 2 MEPs
1. António de Sousa Marinho e Pinto
2. José Inácio da Silva Ramos Antunes de Faria
Bloco de Esquerda (BE) [Left Bloc]= 4,6% = 1 MEP
1. Marisa Isabel dos Santos Matias
Other parties that did not win any seats:
Livre (L) [Free] = 2,2%
Partido pelos Animais e pela Natureza (PAN) [Party for the animals and the nature] = 1,7%
Partido Comunista dos Trabalhadores Portugueses (PCTP/MRPP) [Comunist Party of the Portuguese Workers] = 1,7%
Partido Nova Democracia (PND) [New Democracy Party] = 0,7%
Partido Trabalhista Português (PTP) [Portuguese Labour Party] = 0,7%
Partido Popular Monárquico (PPM) [Monarquic Popular Party] = 0,5%
Partido Nacional Renovador (PNR) [Nacionalist Renovation Party] = 0,5%
Movimento Alternativa Socialista (MAS) [Socialist Alternative Movement] = 0,4%
Portugal Pró-Vida (PPV) [Portugal Pro-Life] = 0,4%
Partido Democrático do Atlântico (PDA) [Democratic Party of the Atlantic] = 0,2%
Partido Operário de Unidade Socialista (POUS) [Workers' Party for Socialist Unity] = 0,1%
Blank votes: 4,42% / Spoiled votes: 3,06%
Abstention: 65,33% / Turnout: 34,67%
First, it is important to state that Portugal elected one less MEP in 2014 than in previous European parliamentary elections (22 in 2009, 21 in 2014).
The 2014 elections were won by the PS (which notched up one of the best results of all the Socialist Parties in Europe), but this victory is not outstanding, and the results are not significantly greater than those of the Aliança Portugal (Coalition between the Social Democratic Party and the Popular Party PSD – PP) which comprises the current right-wing coalition government. For the PSD, this year saw their worst result in a European election, which clearly demonstrates people’s frustrations with the austerity-imposing government. However, the elections took place only one week after the announcement was made to end the memorandum (the Troika “left” Portugal on 17 May). This fact may, to some degree, have created a feeling of relief at a possible end to austerity, and this might have helped keep protest voting and the fear of political crisis (if the government would have to step down) to a minimum.
Undoubtedly, the biggest winner was the MPT. In the 2009 elections, they achieved 0.67% of the vote. However, they have managed to win this time as their main candidate was well-known public figure Marinho e Pinto (a renowned journalist and lawyer) who was able to capture the protest vote using slogans such as “against corruption” and “all parties are the same”. This is fundamentally a phenomenon that has been seen many times in Europe, especially in times of austerity and when attacks on the existing system are launched (see Grillo in Italy or “Potami” in Greece). The party itself could be said to be “green conservative”, and it has made alliances with the right-wing in several local elections. However, the party had never played any sort of significant role in Portuguese politics. Now, with 2 MEPs elected, we have to wait and see on which side of the political spectrum they choose to position themselves.
The second winner in these elections was the CDU (the Portuguese CP in coalition with the Green party). They had an increase of 2% and almost elected a 4th MEP. There are several important points that are key to understanding this result: the CP is a very big, traditional party, with a very strong popular basis (especially in the centre-south and south of Portugal) and they have held a steady political position since the beginning of the crisis, i.e. =a left and patriotic government (that clearly excludes any sort of alliance with the Socialist Party). Another important issue relates to the movements of resistance happening in Portugal now; although big demonstrations organised by broader platforms were taking place up until last year, none has occurred in over a year. In that sense, the only steady mobilisation episodes were those organised by the CGTP trade union confederation, which is politically very close to the CP. In this sense, it is not surprising that the CDU has profited from this during an electoral campaign.
Bloco de Esquerda was dealt the biggest defeat in these elections (a drop of 6%, fewer votes than in 2004 and a reduction in its MEPs from 3 to 1). The reasons for this defeat are multiple and sometimes difficult to grasp. Bloco has been dealing with a steady internal crisis since the 2011 national elections (where Bloco lost half of its votes and half of its MPs), but that is not the only issue. Bloco is a young, unestablished party, still seen by many as a “protest party”, and it has been unable to indicate what direction it would take in matters concerning alliances on the left. Its political strategy has also not been clear for the past two years. Besides that, the big, social mobilisations which took place between2011 and 2013 have not found their “organic” partner in Bloco, and these mass mobilisations have petered out over the last year – a dynamic that could have pushed Bloco up in the electoral results. The “Tsipras phenomenon” also did not mobilise people as expected. Tsipras was in Portugal campaigning for Bloco, but this aspect had no impact on electoral turnout. It is also important not to underestimate the influence of the MPT being recognised as a “protest party”, as well as the part played by the newly formed (centre) left formations (like the “Livre” party) that captured some of the voters that would traditionally vote for Bloco.
IN POWER: Social Democratic Party (right)
The radical Left in the EP: 5 seats of 22
The radical Left in Portugal is represented by two organisations: the Democratic Unitarian Coalition (CDU) uniting the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) and the Greens managed to reach 7.9% in the early general elections of June 2011; the Left Bloc, which was founded in 1999 when UDP (ex-Maoists), PSR (Trotzkists) and Politica xxi (a breakaway group of the PCP) merged, has lost half of its parliamentary group by falling from 9.8% back to 5.17% of the vote. Only the Left Bloc is a member of the European Left (EL) presided by Pierre Laurent.