1979 Portuguese legislative election
The Portuguese legislative election of 1979 took place on 2 December. 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.
250 seats to the Portuguese Assembly
125 seats needed for a majority
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.
The Assembly of the Republic has 250 members elected to four-year terms. The total number of MPs was reduced to 250 from the previous 263, elected in 1976. Governments do not require absolute majority support of the Assembly to hold office, as even if the number of opposers of government is larger than that of the supporters, the number of opposers still needs to be equal or greater than 126 (absolute majority) for both the Government's Programme to be rejected or for a motion of no confidence to be approved.
The number of seats assigned to each district depends on the district magnitude. The use of the d'Hondt method makes for a higher effective threshold than certain other allocation methods such as the Hare quota or Sainte-Laguë method, which are more generous to small parties.
The major parties involved and the respective leaders:
- United People Alliance (APU), Álvaro Cunhal
- Socialist Party (PS), Mário Soares
- Democratic Alliance (AD), Francisco Sá Carneiro
The leader of the Democratic Alliance, Francisco Sá Carneiro, member of the Social Democratic Party was nominated Prime-Minister.
National summary of votes and seatsEdit
|Democratic and Social Centre[B]||23,523||0.39||N/A||42||0||N/A||0.00||N/A||0.0|
|Total Democratic Alliance||2,719,208||45.26||4.41||1151||128||131||51.20||7.51||1.13|
|United People Alliance[C]||1,129,322||18.80||4.4||40||47||7||18.80||3.6||1.00|
|People's Democratic Union||130,842||2.18||0.5||1||1||0||0.40||0.0||0.18|
|Workers' Communist Party||53,268||0.89||0.2||0||0||0||0.00||0.0||0.0|
|Workers Party of Socialist Unity||12,713||0.21||N/A||N/A||0||N/A||0.00||N/A||0.0|
|Total (turnout 82.86%)||6,007,453||100.00||0.6|
|A Alliance formed by the Social Democratic Party (73 seats), the Democratic and Social Centre (43 seats) and the |
People's Monarchist Party (5 seats).
B Social Democratic Party and Democratic and Social Centre electoral list only in Azores and Madeira.
C Portuguese Communist Party (44 MPs) and Portuguese Democratic Movement (3 MPs) ran in coalition.
|Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições|
Distribution by constituencyEdit
|Viana do Castelo||54.8||4||24.9||2||9.8||-||0.9||-||6|
|Rest of the World||77.3||2||5.7||-||3.1||-||0.7||-||2|
|Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições|
Most voted political force by municipality.
- As leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD).
- Diário da Républica, 24 de Dezembro de 1979 - Lista de candidatos eleitos[permanent dead link]
- Fundação Mário Soares
- "Constitution of the Portuguese Republic" (PDF).
- "Effective threshold in electoral systems". Trinity College, Dublin. Retrieved 2015-10-21.
- Gallaher, Michael (1992). "Comparing Proportional Representation Electoral Systems: Quotas, Thresholds, Paradoxes and Majorities"
- "Electoral results - Assembly of the Republic". Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2012-09-02.