Portuguese centre-right coalition largest in exit polls, radical right growing

The centre-right coalition Aliança Democratica by Luís Montenegro came out on top in the exit polls of the Portuguese parliamentary elections on Sunday. The party has about a third of the votes, followed by the Social Democratic Partido Socialista. Most likely that is not enough for an absolute majority in the Assembleia.

Chega, a relatively new radical right party, receives almost a fifth of the votes in the exit polls, making it the third party. That is a significant growth compared to the elections two years ago, when Chega still achieved 7.38 percent. The party blames migrants for the economic problems facing Portugal.

André Ventura, leader of Chega, insists, according to the Portuguese magazine Expresso immediately started negotiations about a new government. “Today bipartisanship ends,” he says, referring to the two center-right and left-wing parties that have provided almost all prime ministers since the beginning of Portuguese democracy.

The result will be a blow, especially for the Social Democrats. Two years ago that party won 120 of the 230 seats, now it is ending Partido Socialista expected to be around seventy. The campaign leader says according to Expresso that his party now “has a duty to lead the opposition.”

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