2009 Portuguese legislative election

Legislative elections in Portugal were held on 27 September 2009 to renew all 230 members of the Assembly of the Republic.[6] The Socialist Party, led by incumbent Prime Minister José Sócrates, won the largest number of seats, but didn't repeat the overall majority they gained in 2005.[7]

2009 Portuguese legislative election

← 2005 27 September 2009 2011 →

230 seats to the Portuguese Assembly
116 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Registered9,519,921 Increase6.4%
Turnout5,681,258 (59.7%)
Decrease4.6 pp
  First party Second party Third party
  José Sócrates 2006b (cropped).jpg Manuela Ferreira Leite B.jpg Paulo Portas 2009 (cropped).jpg
Leader José Sócrates Manuela Ferreira Leite Paulo Portas
Party PS PSD CDS–PP
Leader since 29 September 2004 31 May 2008 21 April 2007
Leader's seat Castelo Branco[2] Lisbon[3] Aveiro[1]
Last election 121 seats, 45.0% 75 seats, 28.8% 12 seats, 7.2%
Seats won 97 81 21
Seat change Decrease 24 Increase 6 Increase9
Popular vote 2,077,238 1,653,665 592,778
Percentage 36.6% 29.1% 10.4%
Swing Decrease 8.4 pp Increase 0.3 pp Increase 3.2 pp

  Fourth party Fifth party
  Francisco Louçã 2009 (cropped).jpg Jerónimo de Sousa 2007b (cropped).jpg
Leader Francisco Louçã Jerónimo de Sousa
Party BE PCP
Alliance CDU
Leader since 24 March 1999 27 November 2004
Leader's seat Lisbon[4] Lisbon[5]
Last election 8 seats, 6.4% 14 seats, 7.5%
Seats won 16 15
Seat change Increase8 Increase1
Popular vote 557,306 446,279
Percentage 9.8% 7.9%
Swing Increase 3.4 pp Increase 0.3 pp

2009 Portuguese legislative election - Results.svg

Prime Minister before election

José Sócrates
PS

Elected Prime Minister

José Sócrates
PS

The Socialist Party of Prime Minister José Sócrates came in first despite losing 9% of the vote and 24 seats.

In these elections there were approximately 9.5 million Portuguese at home and abroad called to determine the 230 seats in the Assembleia da República and 18th constitutional government in Portugal after 1976. The Socialists won the election with a clear lead over the conservative Social Democrats, with big gains for the People's Party and for the Left Bloc.

The election took place during the regular end of the previous four-year legislative period. From 2005 to 2009 ruled by the Socialist Party (PS), led by José Sócrates, with an absolute majority. The opinion polls at the beginning of the official election campaign on 12 September 2009, showed a too close to call race between the Socialists and the conservative Social Democrats,[8] but just days before the election the Socialists increased their lead over the Social Democrats.[9] A total of 13 parties and two coalitions competed in this election.

Focus of the campaign was the impact of global economic, the financial crisis and the construction of new infrastructure projects, including the high-speed rail link Lisbon-Madrid and Lisbon-Porto-Vigo, and the new Lisbon airport.

Neither of the two major parties won an absolute majority in the Assembly of the Republic, so, the future prime minister had to form a coalition, or at least rely on other parties to govern. In that case, José Sócrates was in a better position than Manuela Ferreira Leite, since the Portuguese left won by 54.23% of the vote and 128 seats, against 39.54% and 102 deputies to the right.

On 12 October, José Sócrates was invited by President Aníbal Cavaco Silva to form government. The new cabinet was announced on 22 October and sworn in on 26 October.

Voter turnout was one of the lowest in Portuguese election history, as 59.7% of the electorate cast a ballot.

BackgroundEdit

In the February 2005 early elections, the Socialists, under the leadership of José Sócrates, won 45% of the votes and 121 MPs, the 1st time the Socialists won a majority and the 1st time a single party won a majority since Cavaco Silva's PSD victory in 1991. The PSD suffered a heavy defeat, achieving their worst results since 1983, and faced with this failure, the then PSD leader and outgoing Prime Minister, Pedro Santana Lopes, resigned from the leadership and called an election for party chair. In the party's congress in April 2005, Luís Marques Mendes became party leader winning 56% of the delegates, against the 44% of his rival, Luís Filipe Menezes.[10] During the first months in his government, Sócrates raised taxes to cut the deficit and initiated a policy of strict budgetary rigor. At the same time, he faced a very harsh summer with Wildfires across the country.[11]

That same October, the Socialists suffered a heavy defeat in the 2005 local elections, winning just 108 cities, a drop of 4, against the PSD's 158 mayoral holds. The PS was also unable to retake control of Lisbon and Porto. In January 2006, a new President was elected. Aníbal Cavaco Silva, PM between 1985-1995, became the first center-right candidate to win a presidential election, although only just. The PS candidate, former PM and President Mário Soares polled a disappointing third place with just 14% of the votes. In 2007, a referendum for the legalization of abortion was held. After the failure of the 1998 referendum, the Yes side prevailed winning 59% of the votes against the No's 41%, making abortion legal in Portugal.[12]

While the deficit reduction had been successful, and with the economy growing above 2% of GDP, the government faced heavy opposition for its policies, particularly from teachers unions. In March 2008, more than 100,000 teachers protested in Lisbon against Sócrates and his Education minister, Maria de Lurdes Rodrigues.[13] At the same time, the Social Democrats (PSD) were in internal crisis. The then PSD leader, Luís Filipe Menezes, elected in September 2007, resigned after just 6 months in the job.[14] In the following leadership elections, held on May 2008, Manuela Ferreira Leite became the first woman to lead a major party in Portugal, winning 38% of the votes, against the 31% of Pedro Passos Coelho and the 30% of Pedro Santana Lopes.[15]

Entering 2009, Portugal was strongly hit by the effects of the financial crisis that was shaking the global economy, and, therefore, the country entered in a recession. As a result, the government adopted stimulus measures that worsened the public finances and increased the deficit and the debt. In the European elections of June 7, 2009, the PSD stunned pundits by winning a European election for the first time since 1989, with 31.7% of the votes. The Socialists suffered a huge defeat, winning just 26% of the votes, a drop of 18%.

Electoral systemEdit

The Assembly of the Republic has 230 members elected to four-year terms. 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 116 (absolute majority) for both the Government's Programme to be rejected or for a motion of no confidence to be approved.[16]

The number of seats assigned to each district depends on the district magnitude.[17] 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.[18]

PartiesEdit

The parties that partook in the election, and their leaders, were:

José Sócrates, leader of the Socialist Party, was nominated Prime Minister for a 2nd consecutive term.

Campaign periodEdit

Party slogansEdit

Party or alliance Original slogan English translation Refs
PS « Avançar Portugal » "Go forward Portugal" [19]
PSD « Compromisso de verdade » "Real commitment" [20]
CDU « Soluções para uma vida melhor » "Solutions for a better life" [21]
CDS–PP « Não basta pensar. É preciso votar. » "Thinking is not enough. You need to vote." [22]
BE « Estamos prontos » "We are ready" [23]

Candidates' debatesEdit

2009 Portuguese legislative election debates
Date Organisers Moderator(s)     P  Present    A  Absent invitee  N  Non-inviteee 
PS
Sócrates
PSD
Leite
CDU
Jerónimo
CDS–PP
Portas
BE
Louçã
Refs
2 Sep TVI Constança Cunha e Sá P N N P N [24]
3 Sep SIC Clara de Sousa N N P N P [24]
5 Sep RTP1 Júdite de Sousa P N P N N [24]
6 Sep TVI Constança Cunha e Sá N P N N P [24]
7 Sep SIC Clara de Sousa N N P P N [24]
8 Sep RTP1 Júdite de Sousa P N N N P [24]
9 Sep TVI Constança Cunha e Sá N P P N N [24]
10 May RTP1 Júdite de Sousa N P N P N [24]
11 Sep RTP1 Júdite de Sousa N N N P P [24]
12 Sep SIC Clara de Sousa P P N N N [24]
Candidate viewed as "most convincing" in each debate
Date Organisers Polling firm/Link
PS PSD CDU CDS–PP BE Notes
12 Sep SIC Aximage 45.6 30.2 N/A N/A N/A 24.2% Neither/Tie

Opinion pollingEdit

National summary of votes and seatsEdit

 
Ballot for the district of Setúbal.
e • d Summary of the 27 September 2009 Assembly of the Republic elections results
Parties Votes % ±pp swing MPs MPs %/
votes %
2005 2009 ± % ±
Socialist 2,077,238 36.56  8.4 121 97  24 42.17  10.4 1.15
Social Democratic 1,653,665 29.11  0.3 71 81  10 35.22  4.3 1.21
People's 592,778 10.43  3.1 12 21  9 9.13  3.9 0.88
Left Bloc 557,306 9.81  3.4 8 16  8 6.96  3.5 0.71
Unitary Democratic Coalition[A] 446,279 7.86  0.3 14 15  1 6.52  0.4 0.83
Portuguese Workers' Communist 52,761 0.93  0.1 0 0  0 0.00  0.0 0.0
Hope for Portugal Movement 25,949 0.46 N/A N/A 0 N/A 0.00 N/A 0.0
New Democracy 21,876 0.38  0.3 0 0  0 0.00  0.0 0.0
Merit and Society Movement 16,924 0.30 N/A N/A 0 N/A 0.00 N/A 0.0
People's Monarchist[B] 15,262 0.27 N/A 2 0  2 0.00  0.9 0.0
Earth / Humanist[C] 12,405 0.22 N/A N/A 0 N/A 0.00 N/A 0.0
National Renovator 11,503 0.20  0.0 0 0  0 0.00  0.0 0.0
Portugal Pro-Life 8,461 0.15 N/A N/A 0 N/A 0.00 N/A 0.0
Labour 4,974 0.09 N/A N/A 0 N/A 0.00 N/A 0.0
Workers Party of Socialist Unity 4,632 0.08  0.0 0 0  0 0.00  0.0 0.0
Earth[B][D] 3,265 0.06 N/A 2 0  2 0.00  0.9 0.0
Total valid 5,505,278 96.91  0.2 230 230  0 100.00  0.0
Blank ballots 99,086 1.74  0.1
Invalid ballots 76,894 1.35  0.2
Total (turnout 59.68%) 5,681,258 100.00  4.6
A Portuguese Communist Party (13 MPs) and "The Greens" (2 MPs) ran in coalition.[25]
B Elected in 2005 in the Social Democratic Party electoral lists.
C Earth Party / Humanist Party joint electoral list only in continental Portugal.
D Earth Party electoral list only in Madeira and Azores.
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições
Vote share
PS
36.56%
PSD
29.11%
CDS-PP
10.43%
BE
9.81%
CDU
7.86%
PCTP/MRPP
0.93%
Others
2.21%
Blank/Invalid
3.09%
Parliamentary seats
PS
42.17%
PSD
35.22%
CDS-PP
9.13%
BE
6.96%
CDU
6.52%

Distribution by constituencyEdit

e • d Results of the 2009 election of the Portuguese Assembly of the Republic
by constituency
Constituency % S % S % S % S % S Total
S
PS PSD CDS–PP BE CDU
Azores 39.7 3 35.7 2 10.3 - 7.3 - 2.2 - 5
Aveiro 33.8 6 34.6 7 13.0 2 9.0 1 3.8 - 16
Beja 34.9 2 14.6 - 5.7 - 10.0 - 29.1 1 3
Braga 41.7 9 30.8 6 9.7 2 7.8 1 4.6 1 19
Bragança 33.0 1 40.6 2 12.6 - 6.2 - 2.4 - 3
Castelo Branco 41.0 2 29.8 2 8.4 - 9.1 - 5.1 - 4
Coimbra 38.0 4 30.6 4 8.8 1 10.8 1 5.7 - 10
EvoraÉvora 35.0 1 19.0 1 6.4 - 11.1 - 22.3 1 3
Faro 31.9 3 26.2 3 10.7 1 15.3 1 7.8 - 8
Guarda 36.0 2 35.6 2 11.2 - 7.6 - 3.3 - 4
Leiria 30.1 4 34.9 4 12.6 1 9.5 1 5.1 - 10
Lisbon 36.4 19 25.1 13 11.0 5 10.8 5 9.9 5 47
Madeira 19.4 1 48.1 4 11.1 1 6.2 - 4.2 - 6
Portalegre 38.3 1 23.8 1 8.0 - 10.8 - 12.9 - 2
Porto 41.8 18 29.2 12 9.3 4 9.2 3 5.7 2 39
Santarém 33.7 4 27.0 3 11.2 1 11.8 1 9.2 1 10
Setúbal 34.0 7 16.4 3 9.1 1 14.0 2 20.1 4 17
Viana do Castelo 36.3 3 31.3 2 13.6 1 8.6 - 4.2 - 6
Vila Real 36.1 2 41.1 3 10.1 - 5.5 - 2.9 - 5
Viseu 34.7 4 37.5 4 13.4 1 6.5 - 2.9 - 9
zEurope 43.3 1 23.8 1 4.7 - 4.7 - 4.4 - 2
zRest of the World 22.0 - 54.5 2 3.2 - 2.0 - 1.0 - 2
Total 36.6 97 29.1 81 10.4 21 9.8 16 7.9 15 230
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições

MapsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Assembleia da República - Deputados e Grupos Parlamentares
  2. ^ Assembleia da República - Deputados e Grupos Parlamentares
  3. ^ Assembleia da República - Deputados e Grupos Parlamentares
  4. ^ Assembleia da República - Deputados e Grupos Parlamentares
  5. ^ Assembleia da República - Deputados e Grupos Parlamentares
  6. ^ http://www.mherrera.org/elections.htm
  7. ^ Resultados das Eleições Legislativas 2009, Rádio e Televisão de Portugal, archived from the original on 3 March 2016, retrieved 27 September 2009.
  8. ^ PS e PSD separados por dois pontos, Diário de Notícias, archived from the original on 28 September 2011, retrieved 11 September 2009.
  9. ^ PS com vantagem de 8 pontos percentuais sobre o PSD, Rádio e Televisão de Portugal, retrieved 24 September 2009.
  10. ^ Luís Marques Mendes é o novo líder do PSD, RTP, retrieved 7 December 2017.
  11. ^ Incêndios de 2005 devastaram mais de 325 mil hectares, TVI24, retrieved 7 December 2017.
  12. ^ Catholic Portugal votes to allow abortion in early pregnancy, The Guardian, retrieved 7 December 2017.
  13. ^ 100 mil professores na rua, Expresso, retrieved 7 December 2017.
  14. ^ Menezes demite-se e convoca eleições directas, SAPO, archived from the original on 8 December 2017, retrieved 7 December 2017.
  15. ^ Manuela Ferreira Leite venceu eleições no PSD, RTP, retrieved 7 December 2017.
  16. ^ "Constitution of the Portuguese Republic" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
  17. ^ "Effective threshold in electoral systems". Trinity College, Dublin. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  18. ^ Gallaher, Michael (1992). "Comparing Proportional Representation Electoral Systems: Quotas, Thresholds, Paradoxes and Majorities"
  19. ^ "ELEIÇÕES LEGISLATIVAS DE 2009 – PS". EPHEMERA (in Portuguese). Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  20. ^ "PSD – ELEIÇÕES LEGISLATIVAS DE 2009 – DISTRITOS". EPHEMERA (in Portuguese). Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  21. ^ "CDU – ELEIÇÕES LEGISLATIVAS DE 2009". EPHEMERA (in Portuguese). Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  22. ^ "CDS – PP – ELEIÇÕES LEGISLATIVAS DE 2009". EPHEMERA (in Portuguese). Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  23. ^ "Legislativas 2009: uma retrospectiva da campanha do Bloco de Esquerda". BE (in Portuguese). Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Televisões e partidos acertam debates". RTP (in Portuguese). 29 August 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  25. ^ Electoral results - Assembly of the Republic

External linksEdit

See alsoEdit