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.

1979 Portuguese legislative election

← 1976 2 December 1979 1980 →

250 seats to the Portuguese Assembly
125 seats needed for a majority
Registered7,249,346 Increase10.4%
Turnout6,007,453 (82.9%)
Decrease0.6 pp
  First party Second party Third party
  Francisco Sá Carneiro (crop).jpg Mário Soares 1975b (cropped).jpg Alvaro Cunhal 1980 (cropped).jpg
Leader Francisco Sá Carneiro Mário Soares Álvaro Cunhal
Party PSD PS PCP
Alliance AD APU
Leader since 29 April 1979[a] 19 April 1973 1979
Leader's seat Lisbon[1] Lisbon[2] Lisbon
Last election 115 seats, 40.9%1 107 seats, 34.9% 40 seats, 14.4%
Seats won 128 74 47
Seat change Increase 13 Decrease 33 Increase 7
Popular vote 2,719,208 1,642,136 1,129,322
Percentage 45.3% 27.3% 18.8%
Swing Increase 4.4 pp Decrease 7.6 pp Increase 4.4 pp

1979 Portuguese legislative election - Results.svg
Results by district or autonomous region
PSD ran alone in the Azores and Madeira.

Prime Minister before election

Maria de Lurdes Pintasilgo
PS

Elected Prime Minister

Francisco Sá Carneiro
PSD

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.

Electoral systemEdit

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.[3]

The number of seats assigned to each district depends on the district magnitude.[4] 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.[5]

PartiesEdit

The major parties involved and the respective leaders:

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

e • d Summary of the 2 December 1979 Assembly of the Republic elections results
Parties Votes % ± Seats MPs %/
votes %
1976 1979 ± % ±
Democratic Alliance[A] 2,554,458 42.52 N/A N/A 121 N/A 48.40 N/A 1.14
Social Democratic[B] 141,227 2.35 N/A 73 7 N/A 2.80 N/A 1.19
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
Socialist 1,642,136 27.33  7.6 107 74  33 29.60  11.1 1.08
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
Christian Democratic 72,514 1.21  0.7 0 0  0 0.00  0.0 0.0
Workers' Communist Party 53,268 0.89  0.2 0 0  0 0.00  0.0 0.0
UEDS 43,325 0.72 N/A N/A 0 N/A 0.00 N/A 0.0
Revolutionary Socialist 36,978 0.62  0.5 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
OCMLP 3,433 0.06 N/A N/A 0 N/A 0.00 N/A 0.0
Total valid 5,843,739 97.28  2.0 263 250  13 100.00  0.0
Blank ballots 42,863 0.71
Invalid ballots 120,851 2.01  2.7
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.[6]
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições

1 Democratic Alliance results are compared to the combined totals of the Social Democratic Party, the Democratic and Social Centre and the People's Monarchist Party in the 1976 election.

Vote share
AD
42.52%
PS
27.33%
APU
18.80%
PSD
2.35%
UDP
2.18%
PDC
1.21%
PCTP/MRPP
0.89%
UEDS
0.72%
PSR
0.62%
Others
0.66%
Blank/Invalid
2.72%
Parliamentary seats
AD
48.40%
PS
29.60%
APU
18.80%
PSD
2.80%
UDP
0.40%

Distribution by constituencyEdit

e • d Results of the 1979 election of the Portuguese Assembly of the Republic
by constituency
Constituency % S % S % S % S % S Total
S
AD PS APU PSD UDP
Azores 30.0 2 3.1 - 52.0 3 1.7 - 5
Aveiro 56.7 9 28.4 5 7.9 1 1.2 - 15
Beja 19.0 1 22.0 1 50.7 3 1.8 - 5
Braga 51.9 9 30.2 5 10.0 1 1.4 - 15
Bragança 60.7 3 22.2 1 5.8 - 1.9 - 4
Castelo Branco 49.9 4 27.8 2 12.4 - 1.9 - 6
Coimbra 44.8 6 35.1 5 11.2 1 1.3 - 12
EvoraÉvora 26.9 1 16.9 1 48.9 3 1.7 - 5
Faro 34.6 4 34.0 3 20.3 2 3.2 - 9
Guarda 60.6 4 26.3 1 5.4 - 0.9 - 5
Leiria 56.2 7 23.2 3 10.9 1 1.5 - 11
Lisbon 40.0 24 25.8 15 26.0 16 2.8 1 56
Madeira 17.2 1 3.1 - 57.8 4 6.6 - 5
Portalegre 32.1 2 29.8 1 29.4 1 1.7 - 4
Porto 44.5 18 34.8 14 14.5 6 1.9 - 38
Santarém 41.3 6 27.3 3 21.7 3 2.2 - 12
Setúbal 22.3 4 21.4 4 47.0 9 4.0 - 17
Viana do Castelo 54.8 4 24.9 2 9.8 - 0.9 - 6
Vila Real 57.7 4 21.4 2 6.1 - 1.5 - 6
Viseu 64.1 8 21.4 2 5.5 - 1.4 - 10
Europe 38.3 1 33.2 1 13.4 - 5.7 - 2
Rest of the World 77.3 2 5.7 - 3.1 - 0.7 - 2
Total 42.5 121 27.3 74 18.8 47 2.4 7 2.2 1 250
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições

MapsEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ As leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD).

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Diário da Républica, 24 de Dezembro de 1979 - Lista de candidatos eleitos[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Fundação Mário Soares
  3. ^ "Constitution of the Portuguese Republic" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Effective threshold in electoral systems". Trinity College, Dublin. Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  5. ^ Gallaher, Michael (1992). "Comparing Proportional Representation Electoral Systems: Quotas, Thresholds, Paradoxes and Majorities"
  6. ^ "Electoral results - Assembly of the Republic". Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2012-09-02.

External linksEdit

See alsoEdit