Portugal’s 2022 parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held on 30 January 2022 to renew the 230 seats in the Assembly of the Republic.
Originally scheduled for October 2023, the elections were called early because of the rejection, three months ago in late October 2021, of the budget presented by the government of socialist Prime Minister António Costa.
The governmental coalition dates back to the legislative elections of 2015. In 2015, the left had won the legislative elections and raised many hopes–having promised a break with the austerity policies imposed by the European Union. Uniting socialists, communists, ecologists, and the “Left bloc,” the victorious left-wing coalition was considered as a model for other European left-wing movements. The coalition lasted six years, but finally broke up during the budget vote in October, when the radical left and the right-wing opposition both rejected the budget proposition. This led President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa to dissolve parliament.
In fact, the socialist Costa government is paying for the effects of the pandemic on the Portuguese economy, which has been severely shaken by the crisis. Promises went unfulfilled, and political analysts use the word “disenchantment” to characterize the policies of the governing party.
This is the third national election Portugal has held in a year, after the presidential election in January 2021 and the municipal elections at the end of September 2021. The outcome of the election is quite uncertain, even if Costa seems to be leading the race. The right-wing electorate is split between two competing parties, the Social Democratic Party and the Popular Party. Meanwhile, the national right-wing Chega party, led by the young 39-year-old politician André Ventura, is making progress from one election to the next, thanks to a “normalization” of communication and methods comparable to those carried out by Marine Le Pen in France. The Chega party entered parliament for the first time in 2019 with one deputy. In the last presidential elections in January 2021, Andre Ventura came in 3rd place in the poll with almost 12% of the vote. He is credited with 7% of voting intentions for the January 30th election.