1979 Portuguese legislative election
The Portuguese legislative election of 1979 took place on 2 December. The election renewed all 250 members of the Assembly of the Republic, 13 seats less than those elected in 1976.
250 seats to the Portuguese Assembly
125 seats needed for a majority
The last election, three and a half years before, in April 1976, was won by the Socialist Party under the lead of Mário Soares, who became the Prime-Minister of the 1st Constitutional government after the revolution.
However, the government suffered several attacks and in December 1977, Soares lost the voting of a confidence resolution because all the opposition, the Democratic and Social Center, the Social Democrats and the Communists united in order to vote against it, and so, the Soares' government fell. Soares would become Prime-Minister again in January 1978, in coalition with the Democratic Social Center, but in July this party would force the end of the government due to disagreements about agrarian reform. In August, Nobre da Costa became Prime-Minister by personal decision of the President of President Ramalho Eanes, after a failed attempt to unite the parties on the Parliament. However, the program of Nobre da Costa's government was never approved and two months later, da Costa was replaced by Mota Pinto who would govern with extreme difficulties for less than one year.
In July 1979, the President finally decided to dissolve the Parliament and call for a new election for December. Mota Pinto was replaced in the period between the dissolution and the election by Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo (the only women to lead a government in Portugal).
The right-wing parties, the Social Democratic, the Democratic and Social Center and the People's Monarchist Party united in the Democratic Alliance (Portuguese: Aliança Democrática or AD) under the lead of Sá Carneiro won the election, receiving 43% of the vote. The Socialists lost more than 30 MPs and the Communists, now allied with the Portuguese Democratic Movement in the United People Alliance achieved their highest total ever, with almost 20% of the voting.