2019 Portuguese legislative election

The Portuguese legislative election of 2019 was held on 6 October 2019.[2] All 230 seats to the Assembly of the Republic were at stake.

2019 Portuguese legislative election

 2015 6 October 2019 Next 

230 seats in the Assembly of the Republic
116 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Registered10,777,258 11.3%[1]
Turnout5,237,484 (48.6%)
7.3 pp
  First party Second party Third party
Leader António Costa Rui Rio Catarina Martins
Leader since 28 September 2014 18 February 2018 30 November 2014
Leader's seat Lisbon Porto Porto
Last election 86 seats, 32.3% 89 seats[lower-alpha 1] 19 seats, 10.2%
Seats won 108 79 19
Seat change 22 10 0
Popular vote 1,903,687 1,454,283 498,549
Percentage 36.4% 27.8% 9.5%
Swing 4.0 pp N/A 0.7 pp

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
Leader Jerónimo de Sousa Assunção Cristas André Silva
Alliance CDU
Leader since 27 November 2004 13 March 2016 26 October 2014
Leader's seat Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon
Last election 17 seats, 8.3%[lower-alpha 2] 18 seats[lower-alpha 1] 1 seats, 1.4%
Seats won 12 5 4
Seat change 5 13 3
Popular vote 332,018 221,094 173,931
Percentage 6.3% 4.2% 3.3%
Swing 1.9 pp N/A 1.9 pp

  Seventh party Eighth party Ninth party
Leader André Ventura Carlos Guimarães Pinto Collective leadership[lower-alpha 3]
Leader since 9 April 2019 13 October 2018 11 August 2019
Leader's seat Lisbon Porto (Lost) -
Last election Did not contest Did not contest 0 seats, 0.7%
Seats won 1 1 1
Seat change 1 1 1
Popular vote 67,502 67,443 56,940
Percentage 1.3% 1.3% 1.1%
Swing New party New party 0.4 pp

Party winning a plurality in each electoral district.

Prime Minister before election

António Costa

Elected Prime Minister

António Costa

In a campaign dominated by the Tancos airbase robbery[3] (in which former Defense Minister Azeredo Lopes (2015–2018) was accused of trying to cover-up the finding of the stolen weapons in the robbery), but also with the good economic situation in Portugal, the Socialist Party (PS) won the elections with 36% of the votes and 108 seats, a gain of 22 compared with 2015. The PS won the big districts of Porto and Lisbon, although Porto was closer than expected, and was able to gain districts from the PSD, like Aveiro and Viana do Castelo, by razor thin margins.[4] The PS won the city of Lisbon, however with a smaller share of the vote compared with 2015, 33% vs 35%, and, surprisingly, lost the city of Porto to the PSD.

The Social Democratic Party (PSD) obtained 28% of the votes and won 79 seats. The party lost 10 seats compared with 2015, and, in terms of share of vote, it was the worst result since 1983, however in terms of seats, it was only the worst result since 2005, when the party won 75 seats. The PSD was able to hold on to their bastions of Viseu, Vila Real, Bragança, Leiria and Madeira. On election night, PSD leader Rui Rio classified the results as "not a disaster" and left the door open to continue as party leader.[5] However, in the aftermath of the election, several members of the party announced their intention to challenge Rio's leadership.[6]

The Left Bloc (BE) achieved a similar result to 2015. The party won almost 10% of the votes and held the 19 seats elected in 2015. On election night, Catarina Martins said she was open to new negotiations with PS. The Unitary Democratic Coalition, (CDU), PCP-PEV coalition, suffered heavy losses, with 6.3% of the votes and 12 seats, and Jerónimo de Sousa, PCP secretary-general, said on election night that written agreements with PS were off the table. CDS – People's Party got just 4.2% of the votes, and got a parliamentary caucus reduced to just 5 seats, the lowest since 1991 and when the party was called the "taxi party", down from 18 in the 2015 election. Assunção Cristas, CDS leader, resigned on election night, called for a snap party congress and announced she would not run for reelection.[7] People-Animals-Nature (PAN) saw a big increase in its share of the vote, winning 3.3% and 4 seats from Lisbon, Porto and Setúbal.

This election was marked by the entry of three new parties in Parliament. The right-wing/far-right party CHEGA (CH) was one of the big surprises on election night by electing an MP from Lisbon. It is the first time since the return to democracy that a right-wing/far-right party is represented in Parliament.[8][9] LIVRE and Liberal Initiative also elected one MP for Lisbon. Former Prime Minister and PSD leader Pedro Santana Lopes' new party, Alliance, failed to win a single seat and polled below 1% of the votes.

The turnout in this election was the lowest ever in a general election in Portugal, with just 48.6% of registered voters casting a ballot. In Portugal alone, 54.5% of voters cast a ballot, a drop compared with the 57% in the 2015 election.