Written in OPINION he 2/2/2024 · 4:50 pm
In the year in which we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution, the movement that brought down the longest-running dictatorship in the West in the 20th century, putting an end to the fascist regime implemented by António de Oliveira Salazar, Portugal is very close to having its own hell to call yours. Chega, a far-right party that was already making a lot of noise in recent years and that in 2022 obtained 7% of the votes, now, in the last poll for the election on March 10, it exploded and reached 21% of the electorate’s preference.
A strong growth of extremists led by André Ventura had already been detected in more recent surveys, such as one carried out by Euronews/Sol, which showed reactionary radicals with 17.5% ten days ago. Now, the Iscte/ICS survey, carried out on request for the broadcaster SIC and the newspaper Expresso, shows the far-right party with more than 21% of voting intentions.
To get an idea of the size of the drama that the small European country could be getting into, the center-left PS (Socialist Party) remains ahead in the dispute, with 29%, while the PSD (Social Democratic Party), center-right, comes right behind in a technical tie, with 27%. The problem is that the latter is on a downward trend after a major corruption scandal involving the head of the Executive of the Madeira Island region, which ousted him from office. The PS, now led by Pedro Nuno Santos, and which two years ago obtained 41% of the Portuguese votes, winning the election by an absolute majority, has already become quite dehydrated and does not seem to have the strength to make a new comeback. There is still more than a month of campaigning ahead and Chega is growing using the criminal and dirty tactics of other similar movements, such as Trumpism in the USA and Bolsonarism in Brazil.
Given these numbers, mathematically it is almost certain that the Assembly of the Republic will have a right-wing majority, since the combination of the PSD and Chega will be at the head of a coalition that will eventually be made up of the PS and other left-wing parties. The big question now is whether the traditional right-wingers, led by Luís Montenegro, will choose to join the extremists under the leadership of André Ventura. Until a few days ago, the majority of voters across this political spectrum, ranging from the center to the extreme right, said they were against this idea of forming a new government.