The Socialist Party led by Portugal’s Prime Minister Jose Socrates looks to have been dealt a severe blow by the centre-right.
The partial results put the Socialists on 26 percent of the vote, a drop of 18 percent on 2004. “The results of these European elections mean our task for the general election in October will be that much harder. But it will only make us more determined to work towards victory in the next elections.” said Socrates. The centre-right Social Democrat Party is in the lead on 33 percent of the vote, a slight increase on the last poll. The outcome is even more of a surprise as most of the pre-election polls suggested the centre-left Socialists were out in front. “The results we have seen today prove that our party has regained the status of being the only credible alternative to the Socialists.” said Manuela Ferreira Leite, the leader of the PSD party. According to commentators, the real gains of the vote were seen by the non-Socialist parties of the left, which gained a total of 20 percent of the vote compared to 14 percent the last time round.