1973 Portuguese legislative election

Parliamentary elections were held in Portugal on 28 October 1973,[1] the last under the Estado Novo regime. After the only opposition party withdrew from the election, the People's National Action (ANP) was the only list to contest the election, winning all 150 seats.

1973 Portuguese National Assembly election

← 1969 28 October 1973 1975 →

All 150 seats to the National Assembly, elected by plurality-at-large voting
75 seats needed for a majority
  First party
  Marcello caetano.jpg
Leader Marcello Caetano
Party ANP
Last election 130 seats
Seats won 150
Seat change Increase 20
Popular vote 1,393,294
Percentage 100.0%
Swing Increase 12.0%

Asamblea Portugal 1973.svg

Prime Minister before election

Marcello Caetano

Prime Minister after election

Marcello Caetano

Electoral systemEdit

The electoral system, constitutionally amended in 1971, maintained the National Assembly to be elected through plurality voting with semi-open party list in 22 constituencies, with all seats of a constituency going to a sole victor. Voters were formally allowed to strike out individual names. The Chamber of Corporations, consisting of 200 members or more, was appointed by the government following its re-endorsement by the new National Assembly, the last to be before the Carnation Revolution next year.[2]

All natural-born nationals residing in Portugal for the past five years were allowed to stand for election, with all mature, literate citizens officially enlisted for the process. An additional 962,854 overseas citizens participated in an election to the National Assembly for the first time. Some scarcely populated remote countryside regions in the Portuguese overseas territories of Angola and Mozambique were infiltrated by pro-independence guerrillas. Most of Portuguese Guinea was under the control or heavy influence of the guerrillas at the time.


Campaigning began on 28 September under the supervision of the regime, while illegal rallies began as early as April. The governing People's National Action, constituted in 1970 from the former National Union, held its first and only congress in May, supervised by Prime Minister Marcello Caetano, who was considered a moderate reformist but who struggled to hold on to Salazar's authoritarian powers.

Following the premature withdrawal of the Democratic Electoral Commission from the race on 25 October, due to complaints about its democratic legitimacy, the eligibility and rights of its 66 candidates were revoked for five years.


Party Votes % Seats
People's National Action 150
Invalid/blank votes
Total 1,393,294 100 150
Registered voters/turnout 2,096,020 66.4
Source: Inter-Parliamentary Union


  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1542 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Portugal Inter-Parliamentary Union

See alsoEdit