Portugal election: Antonio Costa (Socialists) re-elected but far-right make gains

Portugal general election: Socialists win surprise outright majority |  Portugal | The Guardian

🇵🇹 Let’s start the week with some news from Portugal, where yesterday ( Sunday 30th of January) there were legislative elections!

👍 Upside: the centre-left Socialist Party led by António Luís Santos da Costa won the most votes and is close to securing an absolute majority. This vote is particularly significant since the elections were called after Costa had failed to pass a budget. Without commenting on the crisis within the left-wing government coalition we can say that this election shows how the good policies undertaken in Portugal to reduce inequality and foster inclusivity were understood by the population. When progressive parties follow a coherent and ambitious plan of reforms they do conquer consensus.

👉 Costa declared: "An absolute majority doesn't mean absolute power. It doesn't mean governing alone. It's an increased responsibility". The hope is that the socialists will not govern alone but find compromises with other progressive forces. After all, the Portuguese progressive government coalition could be a model for other countries.

👎 Downside: the far-right party Chega! (Enough!) made significant gains and was third with 7.15% of the vote, with an increase of almost 6 points (they got just 1.3% back in 2019). This should be a wake-up call for European leaders, as there were many others everywhere in Europe. Extremism has grown everywhere, caused by social exclusion and inequality. Social reforms are the way to fight this phenomenon and guarantee social stability.