A week ahead of a general election, Portugal’s political heavy-weights have been campaigning hard.
The final result is expected to be tight. Current prime minister Jose Socrates is seeking a second term and one poll published yesteday has him favourite — his socialists are in front on around 33 percent. However, all the indicators appear to show Scorates is unlikely to have enough support to form an outright majority with the opposition Social Democrats of Manuela Ferreirea Leite close behind on about 30 percent. While both main parties have been urging people not to waste their vote, the most probable outcome is they will be forced to forge coalitions with Portugal’s smaller more extreme parties. However, the Left Bloc of Francisco Louca, the Greens and Portugal’s Communist party have vowed not to join Socrates ruling socialists. Manuela Ferreira Leite has also said her centre-right PSD will not work with Socrates. The campaign leading up to the September 27th vote has been marred by accusations of corruption and dirty tricks.