Elections in Portugal
Elections in Portugal are free, fair, and regularly held in accordance with election law.
Only the elections since the Carnation Revolution of 1974 are listed here. During the period encompassing the Constitutional Monarchy and the First Republic there were also elections, but only for a limited universe of voters. During the Estado Novo regime, from 1926 to 1974, the few elections held were not up to the democratic standards of their time and never resulted in power transfer.
Portugal elects on a national level the President and the national Parliament, the Assembly of the Republic. The President is elected for a five-year term by the people while the Parliament has 230 members, elected for a four-year term by proportional representation in multi-seat constituencies, the districts. Also on a national level, Portugal elects 21 members of the European Parliament.
The Autonomous Regions of Azores and Madeira elect their own regional government for a four-year term, usually on the same day. The first regional elections were held in 1976.
2019 legislative electionEdit
|Parties||Votes||%||±pp swing||MPs||MPs %/|
|Unitary Democratic Coalition||332,473||6.33||1.9||17||12||5||5.22||2.2||0.82|
|Portuguese Workers' Communist||36,118||0.69||0.4||0||0||0||0.00||0.0||0.0|
|React, Include, Recycle||35,359||0.67||N/A||N/A||0||N/A||0.00||N/A||0.0|
|We, the Citizens!||12,379||0.23||0.2||0||0||0||0.00||0.0||0.0|
|United Party of Retirees and Pensioners||11,491||0.22||0.1||0||0||0||0.00||0.0||0.0|
|Together for the People||10,550||0.20||0.1||0||0||0||0.00||0.0||0.0|
|Socialist Alternative Movement||3,331||0.06||[b]||0||0||0||0.00||0.0||0.0|
|Source: Election Results|
2016 presidential electionEdit
|Candidates||Supporting parties||First round|
|Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa||Social Democratic Party, People's Party, People's Monarchist Party||2,413,956||52.00|
|António Sampaio da Nóvoa||Independent supported by the Portuguese Workers' Communist Party, LIVRE||1,062,138||22.88|
|Marisa Matias||Left Bloc, Socialist Alternative Movement||469,814||10.12|
|Maria de Belém||Independent||196,765||4.24|
|Edgar Silva||Portuguese Communist Party, Ecologist Party "The Greens"||183,051||3.94|
|Paulo de Morais||Independent||100,191||2.16|
|Total (turnout 48.66%)||4,744,597|
|Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições|
Past elections and referendumsEdit
Election results 1975-2019Edit
|*The 1975 election was for the Constituent Assembly; O/I: Other parties and Invalid/Blank votes.|
|Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições|
Autonomous Regions electionsEdit
Portugal has two autonomous regions, Azores and Madeira, that elect their own representatives for the regional parliaments every 4 years. The first elections were in 1976 and usually they were both held in the same day until 2007 when Madeira held an early election and Azores held its election the next year. The last election in Azores was in October 2016, and Madeira held a election on September 2019.
European Parliament electionsEdit
Under the Portuguese Constitution adopted in 1976, in the wake of the 1974 Carnation Revolution, the President is elected to a five-year term; there is no limit to the number of terms a president may serve, but a president who serves two consecutive terms may not serve again in the next five years after the second term finishes or in the following five years after his resignation. The official residence of the Portuguese President is the Belém Palace.
The President is elected in a two-round system: if no candidate reaches 50% of the votes during the first round, the two candidates with the most votes face each other in a second round held two weeks later.
The Constitution of Portugal defines referendum in Article 115. The referendum is called by the President of Portugal, on a proposal submitted by the Assembly or the Government. The President can refuse a proposal for referendum submitted to him by the Assembly or the Government if it is found to be unconstitutional or illegal. Referendums are binding if turnout is higher than 50% of registered voters.
Citizens of Portugal have the right to submit to the Assembly an initiative for a referendum.
The referendum can be held only on "important issues concerning the national interest which the Assembly of the Republic or the Government must decide by approving an international convention or passing a legislative act" (paragraph 3). The referendum cannot be held on amendments to the Constitution, budget, taxes, finances and competences of the Assembly, except when issue is the object of an international convention, except when the international convention concerns peace or the rectification of borders.
There have been four nationwide referendums in the History of Portugal:
- Constitutional referendum, in 1933
- First abortion referendum, in 1998
- Regionalization referendum, in 1998
- Second abortion referendum, in 2007
The Constitutional referendum of 1933 did not comply with the standards of a democratic suffrage, as, for example, abstentions were counted as supportive votes. It resulted in the establishing of the Estado Novo regime.
The later three referendums, held in the context of a Western-style liberal democracy had turnout less than 50%, so they were not binding. Nonetheless, decisions of all three referendums were honoured.
- The Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the People's Party (CDS–PP) contested the 2015 election in a coalition called Portugal Ahead (PàF) and won a combined 38.6% of the vote and elected 107 MP's to parliament.
- The Socialist Alternative Movement (MAS) and the Portuguese Labour Party (PTP) contested the 2015 election in a coalition called AGIR! (Act!) and won a combined 0.4% of the vote.
- "Portugal". Freedom House. 5 January 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
- DGAI - Reorganização Administrativa do Território das Freguesias - (RATF)
- "Constitution of the Portuguese Republic" (PDF). Assembly of the Republic. 2005. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
- "Constitution of Portugal" (PDF). Party Law in Modern Europe. Retrieved 2013-11-05.