The Renewal of the Socialist Majority: The 2009 Portuguese Legislative Elections

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Series Details Volume 33, Number 2, Pages 381-388
Publication Date January 2010
ISSN 0140-2382
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The socialist majority achieved in the 2005 elections produced mixed effects with regard to the dynamics of the Portuguese party system and the majoritarian trend that characterised its evolution since 1987. On the one hand, vote concentration in the main parties decreased; on the other a single-party majority government was formed. The 2009 legislative elections has now given a clear sign toward a more ‘consensual’ political system similar to the one that characterised the first decade of the Portuguese democracy, with a relatively low concentration of votes, high fragmentation and centrifugal tendencies.

This report begins by briefly analysing the performance of the socialist government and the main problems undergone by the opposition. The second section focuses on the campaign while the third deals with the election result. Finally the forth section examines its implications for party system dynamics and discusses future challenges.

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