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Since the beginning of liberalism in Portugal in the 19th century, several parties have, by gaining representation in parliament, continued the liberal ideology in contemporary Portuguese politics. But after the initial fervor of the Liberal Revolution of 1820 and the outcome of the Liberal Wars (1828–1834) during the 19th century, liberalism was relegated to a secondary role in Portuguese politics and government and even outlawed for periods of time. The first fully-fledged liberal party (a political party professing classical liberalism including pro-market, business-friendly economic liberalism, small government and individual freedom as core tenets of its ideology) founded as such to have a seat in the Portuguese Parliament since the end of the First Portuguese Republic (1910–1926), was the Liberal Initiative, in 2019.


1826 to 1926

From Democratic Group to New Progressive Party

Portuguese Republican Party

1985 onwards

Social Democratic Party

Pedro Passos Coelho, Prime Minister of Portugal from 2011 to 2015.
Pedro Passos Coelho, Prime Minister of Portugal from 2011 to 2015.

Francisco Sá Carneiro became a member of the Portuguese National Assembly in 1969 under the Estado Novo dictatorial regime (1933-1974) and, in turn, one of the leaders of the "Liberal Wing" (Ala Liberal) of the National Assembly (the Portuguese legislature during the Estado Novo regime) which attempted to work for the gradual transformation of António de Oliveira Salazar's dictatorship into a Western European liberal democracy. In May 1974, a month after the Carnation Revolution, Sá Carneiro and others founded the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) the original name of the Social Democratic Party (PSD). The Social Democratic Party was a full right member of the Liberal International, from 1985 until 1996. The party leaned towards economic liberalism since Aníbal Cavaco Silva served as Prime Minister of Portugal from 1985 to 1995 (a period marked by high economic growth in the country) and later as President of Portugal from 2006 to 2016. From June 2011 to November 2015, after a IMF-European Union orchestrated bailout to the insolvent Portuguese Republic has been requested by the incumbent Prime Minister José Sócrates of the Socialist Party on 6 April 2011, Pedro Passos Coelho of the Social Democratic Party served as Prime Minister and his policies and proposals, in accordance with the recommendations made by the European troika to the Portuguese Republic, were regarded by the left as aligned with economic liberalism after decades of left-leaning, labor movement-inspired policies enacted by Portuguese socialist politicians and their political allies[1] before the ultimate signals of financial collapse of the Republic arose in 2010.[2] However, many of Pedro Passos Coelho cabinet's proposals from 2011 to 2015 didn't pass due to the anti-liberal, labor movement-inspired Portuguese law.[3][4]

Social Liberal Movement

Liberal Initiative

João Cotrim de Figueiredo, the first ever elected Member of the Portuguese Parliament for the Liberal Initiative.
João Cotrim de Figueiredo, the first ever elected Member of the Portuguese Parliament for the Liberal Initiative.

Political parties

School Party Leaders
Classical liberalism Liberal Initiative
Neoliberalism Social Democratic Party

See also


  1. ^ Ficando para trás, o quarto de século socialista (ECO)
  2. ^ Quem tem medo de Passos Coelho? (Observador)
  3. ^ E vão nove chumbos e meio a Passos Coelho (Expresso)
  4. ^ Governo mantém norma que proíbe despedimentos de funcionários públicos admitidos até 2009 (Público)
  5. ^ "Iniciativa Liberal anuncia acordo com PSD para viabilização de governo nos Açores". TSF Rádio Notícias. November 7, 2020.
  6. ^ "Resultados Autárquicas 2021. Veja quem ganhou no seu município e na sua freguesia – Observador".