Turnout among the Portuguese continued a downwards trajectory in 2019 falling from 34% to 31% having fallen by a similar amount from 2009 to 2014.
Despite the overall losses for socialist parties in Europe in these elections, Portugal was one of the countries where they gained: the Socialist Party (in government) not only remained at the top of the country’s results, but kept the same vote share, and increased their number of MEPs from 8 seats to 10 seats.
The Social Democrats (EPP) lost one MEP, from 7 seats down to 6 seats. Other left-wing parties kept similar numbers of seats, and for the first time a new party – People Animals Nature – got an MEP. This is similar to Germany, where a number of new, less traditional parties (Animal Protection Party) entered the European Parliament for the first time.
The strength of the Socialist result in Portugal, together with the fact that this party is in power, could reinforce the case of Prime Minister António Costa in the European Council – together with Pedro Sánchez in Spain – to lobby for Socialist candidates for the major offices and portfolios in the European Commission and the other EU institutions.