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Portugal's Socrates holds on to poll lead

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Portugal's Socrates holds on to poll lead

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Campaigning has been drawing to a close as Portugal prepares to hold elections this Sunday. The latest poll on voters’ intentions indicated that Socialist Prime Minister Jose Socrates has consolidated his lead, but he is not likely to win an absolute majority, it said.

The Catholic University of Lisbon put the Socialists’ support at 38 percent, ahead of the centre-right Social Democrats led by Manuela Ferreira Leite, who scored 30 percent. The findings of the poll were similar to three others released recently. The poll published by daily Jornal de Noticias gave the Left Bloc 11 percent. The Bloc is a potential ally of Socrates’ Socialists, but analysts have said that reformist economic policies would prevent the two from governing together. Infrastructure projects may hold the key to this election. Socrates is fully in favour, while his centre-right opponent has pledged to stop them because she says they would commit the nation to deep debt.