Elections in Portugal are free, fair, and regularly held, in accordance with election law.[1]

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.

On a local level, 308 Municipal Chambers and Municipal Assemblies and 3,092[2] Parish Assemblies are elected for a four-year term in separate elections that usually occur on the same day.

Legislative elections

Main article: Portuguese legislative elections

Electoral system

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.[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]

For the 2024 legislative elections, the MPs were distributed by districts as follows:[6]

District Number of MPs Map
Lisbon 48
Porto 40
Braga and Setúbal 19
Aveiro 16
Leiria 10
Coimbra, Faro and Santarém 9
Viseu 8
Madeira 6
Azores, Viana do Castelo and Vila Real 5
Castelo Branco 4
Beja, Bragança, Évora and Guarda 3
Portalegre, Europe and Outside Europe 2

Election results 1975–2024

Evolution graphic

Graphs are unavailable due to technical issues. There is more info on Phabricator and on MediaWiki.org.

Results summary

Summary of Portuguese elections for the Assembly of the Republic, 1975–2024
Election PCP MDP PS PSD CDS PPM ADIM UDP APU PRD CDU PSN BE PAN L IL CH O/I* Turnout
1975* 12.5 4.1 37.9 26.4 7.6 0.6 0.0 0.8 - - - - - - - - - 10.1 91.7
1976 14.4 - 34.9 24.4 16.0 0.5 - 1.7 - - - - - - - - - 8.1 83.5
1979[a][b] - - 27.3 45.3 - 2.2 18.8 - - - - - - - - 6.2 82.9
1980[c] - - 27.8 47.6 - 1.4 16.8 - - - - - - - - 6.4 83.9
1983[d] - - 36.1 27.2 12.6 0.5 - 0.5 18.1 - - - - - - - - 5.0 77.8
1985 - - 20.8 29.9 10.0 - - 1.3 15.5 17.9 - - - - - - - 4.6 74.2
1987[e] - 0.6 22.2 50.2 4.4 0.4 - 0.9 - 4.9 12.1 - - - - - - 4.3 71.6
1991 - - 29.1 50.6 4.4 0.4 - 0.1 - 0.6 8.8 1.7 - - - - - 4.3 67.8
1995 - - 43.8 34.1 9.1 - - 0.6 - - 8.6 0.2 - - - - - 3.6 66.3
1999 - - 44.1 32.3 8.3 0.3 - - - - 9.0 0.2 2.4 - - - - 3.4 61.1
2002 - - 37.8 40.2 8.7 0.2 - - - - 6.9 0.0 2.7 - - - - 3.5 61.5
2005 - - 45.0 28.8 7.2 - - - - - 7.5 - 6.4 - - - - 5.1 64.3
2009 - - 36.6 29.1 10.4 0.3 - - - - 7.9 - 9.8 - - - - 5.9 59.7
2011 - - 28.0 38.7 11.7 0.3 - - - - 7.9 - 5.2 1.0 - - - 7.2 58.0
2015[f] - - 32.3 38.6 0.3 - - - - 8.3 - 10.2 1.4 0.7 - - 8.2 55.8
2019 - - 36.3 27.8 4.2 0.2 - - - - 6.3 - 9.5 3.3 1.1 1.3 1.3 8.7 48.6
2022 - - 41.4 29.1 1.6 0.0 - - - - 4.3 - 4.4 1.6 1.3 4.9 7.2 4.2 51.5
2024[g] - - 28.0 28.8 - - - - 3.2 - 4.4 1.9 3.2 4.9 18.1 7.5 59.9
*The 1975 election was for the Constituent Assembly; O/I: Other parties and Invalid/Blank votes.
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições Archived 2011-01-25 at the Wayback Machine

Latest election

2024 legislative election

Main article: 2024 Portuguese legislative election

Summary of the 10 March 2024 Assembly of the Republic elections results
Parties Votes % ±pp swing MPs MPs %/
votes %
2022 2024 ± % ±
Democratic Alliance (PSD/CDS–PP/PPM)[h] 1,814,002 28.01 Decrease1.8 74 77 Increase3 33.48 Increase1.3 1.20
Madeira First (PSD/CDS–PP)[i] 52,989 0.82 Decrease0.1 3 3 Steady0 1.30 Steady0 1.59
People's Monarchist[j] 451 0.01 Steady0.0 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0 0.00
Total Democratic Alliance[k] 1,867,442 28.83 Decrease1.9 77 80 Increase3 34.78 Increase1.3 1.21
Socialist 1,812,443 27.98 Decrease13.4 120 78 Decrease42 33.91 Decrease18.3 1.21
CHEGA 1,169,781 18.06 Increase10.9 12 50 Increase38 21.74 Increase16.5 1.20
Liberal Initiative 319,877 4.94 Steady0.0 8 8 Steady0 3.48 Steady0 0.70
Left Bloc 282,314 4.36 Steady0.0 5 5 Steady0 2.17 Steady0 0.50
Unitary Democratic Coalition 205,551 3.17 Decrease1.1 6 4 Decrease2 1.74 Decrease0.9 0.55
LIVRE 204,875 3.16 Increase1.9 1 4 Increase3 1.74 Increase1.3 0.55
People–Animals–Nature 126,125 1.95 Increase0.4 1 1 Steady0 0.43 Steady0 0.22
National Democratic Alternative 102,134 1.58 Increase1.4 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0 0.00
React, Include, Recycle 26,092 0.40 Steady0.0 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0 0.00
Together for the People 19,145 0.30 Increase0.1 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0 0.00
New Right 16,456 0.25 0 0.00 0.00
Portuguese Workers' Communist 15,491 0.24 Steady0.0 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0 0.00
Volt Portugal 11,854 0.18 Increase0.1 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0 0.00
Rise Up 6,030 0.09 Steady0.0 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0 0.00
Alternative 21 (Earth Party/Alliance) 4,265 0.07 Decrease0.1 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0 0.00
Labour 2,435 0.04 Decrease0.1 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0 0.00
We, the Citizens! 2,399 0.04 Decrease0.1 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0 0.00
Socialist Alternative Movement[7] 0 0.00 Decrease0.1 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0.0 0.0
Total valid 6,194,709 95.64 Decrease1.8 230 230 Steady0 100.00 Steady0
Blank ballots 89,847 1.39 Increase0.3
Invalid ballots 192,396 2.97 Increase1.5
Total 6,476,952 100.00
Registered voters/turnout 10,813,643 59.90 Increase8.4
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições[8]

Presidential elections

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.[9] 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. As of 2021, the 1986 presidential election was the only time a Portuguese presidential election was taken into a second round.

The most recent election was held in 2021 and the next is expected to be in 2026.

Latest election

2021 presidential election

Main article: 2021 Portuguese presidential election

Summary of the 24 January 2021 Portuguese presidential election results
Candidates Supporting parties First round
Votes %
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa Social Democratic Party, People's Party 2,531,692 60.66
Ana Gomes People–Animals–Nature, LIVRE 540,823 12.96
André Ventura CHEGA 497,746 11.93
João Ferreira Portuguese Communist Party, Ecologist Party "The Greens" 179,764 4.31
Marisa Matias Left Bloc, Socialist Alternative Movement 165,127 3.96
Tiago Mayan Gonçalves Liberal Initiative 134,991 3.23
Vitorino Silva React, Include, Recycle 123,031 2.95
Total valid 4,173,174 100.00
Blank ballots 47,164 1.11
[l]Invalid ballots 38,018 0.89
Total 4,258,356
Registered voters/turnout 10,847,434 39.26
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições

Local elections

The next local elections are scheduled to be held in September/October 2025.

Autonomous Regions elections

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 on 4 February 2024, and Madeira will hold a snap election on 26 May 2024.

European Parliament elections

Referendums

The Constitution of Portugal defines referendum in Article 115.[10] 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[10]). 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:

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.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ In the 1979 and 1980 elections, the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the Democratic Social Center (CDS) and the People's Monarchist Party (PPM) ran in a joint coalition called Democratic Alliance (AD). In the Madeira and Azores islands, however, the parties ran in separate lists but are added in total sum of the coalition.
  2. ^ In the 1979 and 1980 elections, the Communist Party (PCP) and the Portuguese Democratic Movement (MDP) ran in a joint coalition called United People Alliance (APU).
  3. ^ In the 1980 election, the Socialist Party (PS), the Leftwing Union for the Socialist Democracy (UEDS) and the Independent Social Democratic Action (ASDI) ran in a joint coalition called Republican and Socialist Front (FRS). In the Madeira and Azores islands, plus the foreign electoral constituencies, however, the parties ran in separate lists but are added in total sum of the coalition.
  4. ^ In the 1983 and 1985 elections, the Communist Party (PCP), Portuguese Democratic Movement (MDP) and the Ecologist Party "The Greens" (PEV) ran in a joint coalition called United People Alliance (APU).
  5. ^ After the 1987 elections, and still today, the Communist Party (PCP) and the Ecologist Party "The Greens" (PEV) run in a joint coalition called Unitary Democratic Coalition (CDU).
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ In the 2024 election, the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the People's Party (CDS–PP) and the People's Monarchist Party (PPM) ran in a joint coalition called Democratic Alliance (AD). In Madeira, the PSD and CDS–PP ran in a coalition without PPM, but the results are added in total sum of the coalition.
  8. ^ PSD/CDS–PP/PPM list in mainland Portugal, Azores and Overseas.
  9. ^ In Madeira, the PSD and the CDS–PP contested the elections in a coalition called Madeira First (Madeira Primeiro).
  10. ^ PPM list only in Madeira
  11. ^ 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 2022 election.
  12. ^ Includes votes for candidate Eduardo Baptista.

References

  1. ^ "Portugal". Freedom House. 5 January 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  2. ^ DGAI - Reorganização Administrativa do Território das Freguesias - (RATF)
  3. ^ "Constitution of the Portuguese Republic" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2019-12-29.
  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. ^ "Official map no. 1-A/2024" (PDF) (in Portuguese). National Elections Commission of Portugal. 16 January 2024.
  7. ^ "MAS de Renata Cambra está impedido de concorrer às legislativas de 10 de março" Archived 14 February 2024 at the Wayback Machine, Visão, 9 February 2024. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  8. ^ "Comissão Nacional de Eleições Mapa Oficial n.º 2-A/2024" (PDF). Comissão Nacional de Eleições. 23 March 2024. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  9. ^ "Constitution of the Portuguese Republic" (PDF). Assembly of the Republic. 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Constitution of Portugal" (PDF). Party Law in Modern Europe. Retrieved 2013-11-05.