Where do we vote for Chiga? Mapping the end of Portuguese exceptionalism into 10 points

Where do we vote for Chiga?  Mapping the end of Portuguese exceptionalism into 10 points

The year 2024 is a major election year, with more than half of the world's population called to the polls. To accompany this extensive news, Grand Continent publishes daily maps and analysis. If you find this work important and think it should be supported and continued, we ask that you consider a subscription.

1- Participation

After the votes of Portuguese residents in Portugal were counted, electoral participation rose sharply to 66.2% (+14.7 percentage points).

There is no doubt that the end of the Costa era (2015-2023), but also the diversification of the political offer, especially on the far right, has a lot to do with this apparent recovery. In 2019, abstention from voting reached a historic record, with participation reaching only 48.6%, before participation witnessed a slight jump during the 2022 elections (+2.9 percentage points). In small rural communities in the northeast suffering from demographic decline, mobilization is at its lowest levels, around 30%, while coastal areas in the center of the country and some communist strongholds in the south see participation that can exceed 75% in some places.

2- General results

The Democratic Alliance led by the center-right Social Democratic Party (PSD, EPP) won the election with 30% of the vote (+1 percentage point). It is only one percentage point ahead of the Socialist Party (Socialist, Socialist and Democratic), which received 29%, a clear decline (-13 points). While participation is clearly increasing (+450 thousand voters), the Social Democratic Party gained about 150 thousand voters, while the Socialist Party lost 400 thousand. In third place, the nationalist Chiga Party (CH, ID) received 18.1%, compared to 7.2% in 2022, which is approximately 18.1%. Triple the number of voters compared to the previous elections and record 700,000 additional supports. Two parties, the Liberal (Liberal Initiative, IL, RE) and the Radical Left (Left Bloc, BE, GUE/NGL) are competing for fourth place with about 5%. They are followed by three other small left-wing and environmental forces: the CDU coalition around the Communist Party, with 3.4%, and the environmental parties LIVRE and Personne-Animaux-Nature (PAU), with 3.3% and 2% respectively. The small far-right Alternative National Democratic Party, with 1.7% of the vote, could have benefited from the confusion due to the proximity of its name to that of the Alliance for Democracy coalition.

3- The new parliament and coalitions

The New Assembly of the Republic offers three unequal blocs: a left bloc composed of the socialists with 77 seats, the radical left parties BE (5) and CDU (4) and the environmentalists of LIVRE (4) and PAN (1), i.e. 91 seats in total; The center-right bloc includes the Christian Alliance with 79 seats and the Liberals with 8 seats or 87 seats; Finally, the Chiga bloc has 48 seats. It is already certain that none of the three groups will obtain an absolute majority of 116 seats. As much as the SPD has so far categorically ruled out any alliance with Chega, the formation of a minority government that negotiates support on a case-by-case basis appears to be the most likely outcome of the elections. The Democratic Party needs the support of 37 deputies from outside its ranks to obtain an absolute majority, compared to 39 for the Socialist Party, which has a reserve of about fifteen votes from the left. The position of the centrist representatives is likely to be decisive in the success of the next government.

4- Winners for the year 2024

Between 2022 and 2024, the center-right gained supremacy over the center-left in a large number of municipalities in the northern half of the country, as well as in the Azores. However, the Socialist Party remains the leading party in most of the Alentejo (south). Another major development in the electoral map concerns the emergence of a series of municipalities, led by Chiga. These are mainly located in the Algarve (far south), eastern Alentejo and the southern regions east of Lisbon. The Algarve also stands out as the only region in the country where Chiga is the leader.

5- Results of the Democratic Alliance

The Democratic Alliance (centre-right) obtained better results in the northern half of the country, which is traditionally the most conservative half, as well as in the Azores. The highest scores are achieved in small towns in the interior, exceeding 75% in some places. Conversely, in some Alentejo municipalities, characterized by communist traditions, results do not exceed 10% of the vote. An example is the Lisbon region, where alliance results vary by a factor of two, between approximately 20% and 40%.

6- Dozens of socialists

Conversely, the Socialists are stronger south of the Tagus, where their vote share locally exceeds 50% while in some strong AD regions in the north, their scores fall below 10%. The Algarve differs from the Alentejo by a lower share of the Socialist Party vote, around 20-25% compared to 30-40% in the majority of southern municipalities. It will be remembered that, despite its geographical acumen and the losses it has suffered since 2022, the Socialist Party maintains a more geographically homogeneous electoral base than the Christian Democrats, with scores exceeding 20% ​​in the vast majority of municipalities.

7 – Chiga scores

Chiga is established almost everywhere with more than 10% of the vote, except for a few municipalities in the north and certain parts of urban areas, especially in Lisbon and Porto. On the contrary, it exceeds 30% in several municipalities in the Algarve region and part of the upper and lower eastern Alentejo.

8 – Cumulative scores for other left parties (CDU =PCP+PEV, PAN, LIVRE, BE)

The traditional strongholds of the radical left, historically led by the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) today a member of the United Democratic Alliance (CDU), are located in the Alentejo, inland. In some small municipalities with aging populations, the CDU still receives scores above 40%. In the rest of the country, including the most populous cities, the newer Left Bloc (BE), founded in 1999, constitutes the first force to the left of the Socialist Party.

The two small environmental groups LIVRE and PAN, founded in 2014 and 2009 respectively, have achieved certain success in large city municipalities. In these municipalities, LIVRE scores are often above 5%, and PAN scores between 2 and 4%. LIVRE presents a strong eco-socialist political image, while the National Action Party is closer to the traditional center-left and pays particular attention to the issue of animal rights.

9 – Results of the liberal initiative

The liberal initiative obtains the best results in coastal areas and in urban areas, with scores ranging between 4 and 10%. Conversely, the party is very weak at home, both in the north and south of the country, as well as in the Azores, where it rarely exceeds 2% of the vote.

10 – The two main events of the vote: the growth of Chiga and the decline of the Socialist Party

In most municipalities in the country, Chiga recorded an increase of at least 10 points in its vote share, while the Socialist Party recorded a decrease of at least 10 points. Areas of sharp decrease in PS sometimes coincide with increase in Chega, especially in the east of the greater Lisbon area and in part of the upper Alentejo area. However, the two maps are not superimposable, and it is not possible at this stage to analyze the increase in Chiga votes as a result of a simple shift of voters from the far-right Socialist Party. Indeed, the very strong increase in turnout suggests that a large number of non-voters could have voted for Chega.

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About the Author: Germano Álvares

"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

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