The main decisions on election night – The Economic Journal

The PS of António Costa will win a result higher than the "little bit" obtained by the PS of António José Seguro in 2014?

Most polls indicate yes. In the European elections of 2014, the PS of Insurance obtained 31.46% of the votes, 3.75% more than the PSD / CDS-PP coalition that fell to 27.71%. It was on the basis of this result that he classified as a "little bit" victory that the then Mayor of Lisbon, António Costa, advanced to a dispute over the leadership of the PS, eventually overthrowing Insurance about 16 months of the legislative elections of 2015 .

For the European elections of 2019, the latest polls point to a PS victory with 32 to 36% of the votes. Even if it is not well above the 31.46% Insurance, the fact is that the distance to the second classified should increase if the forecasts of the surveys are confirmed (some point to 10 percentage points of advantage of the PS in relation to the PSD). As for the number of mandates, the polls also indicate that the PS is expected to reach nine, one more than the eight won in 2014, while the PSD is expected to remain in the six. To be confirmed, it will be a quiet night for the Socialists.

Will any of the major parties recognize that they have been defeated?

Most likely, no. First of all, even in the face of catastrophic results, Portuguese politicians rarely take a defeat. In this particular case, they will be even more unlikely to do so, either because they have set the bar as little as possible or because they have already tried different ways of reading the results (especially the PSD and CDS-PP that competed in 2014 and have insisted on very fluid comparison for today's election night).

Nevertheless, for the CDU it will be more difficult to camouflage a possible defeat: the Communists start from an extraordinary result in 2014, with 12.68% of the votes and three mandates, which will hardly be replicated. Surveys also point to BE's overshooting (it could double or triple the weak 2014 result, with 4.56% of votes and a mandate) that could open a process of internal reflection in the PCP, as the loss of electorate in the municipal elections of 2017 had already been quite significant.

Will abstention increase or decrease compared to 2014?

It should increase in percentage but decrease in absolute values. Confused? It's simple. The abstention rate in the European elections in Portugal has almost always increased, from 27.58% in 1989 to 66.16% in 2014. In the last three elections between 2004 and 2014, there have been successive increases , from 60.07% in 1999 to 61.40% in 2004, 63.22% in 2009 and 66.16% in the most recent European elections. That is, the trend is to increase.

Moreover, last year, the automatic census of Portuguese living abroad has soared the number of voters from 318 thousand to about 1.4 million. That is, the electoral universe in the emigration circles has more than quadrupled. It is in emigration circles that the rate of abstention in Portuguese elections is usually higher. Turning from 318,000 to 1.4 million voters in these circles, the probability of further increasing the abstention rate is high.

However, the first figures released today on the affluence rate point to an increase in the number of voters, despite representing a smaller percentage (this is because the electoral universe is larger, as we have already mentioned). According to data from the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the turn-out rate up to 16h today was 23.37% (in 2014, at the same time, it was 26.31%). Voters with active electoral capacity in 2019 are 10,761,156 in total, while in the previous elections to the European Parliament in 2014, they were 9,696,481 in total.

Is there a new party (or no representation in the European Parliament) able to elect at least one MEP?

In the light of the polls, only the NAP and the Alliance are expected to approach this goal, although they are not likely to achieve it. There are some polls that point to about 3% of voting intentions in the NAP and the Alliance, but that percentage would not be enough to win a mandate. However, a possible surprise has to be taken into account: in 2014, for example, the polls indicated that António Marinho and Pinto's MPT would have about 4% of the voting intentions, but in the polls it almost doubled (7 , 14% of votes and two mandates). The polls in 2019 may have underestimated these parties.

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