Speed Reads

portugal votes

Portugal's Socialist Party unexpectedly wins majority in parliament

Portugal's ruling Socialist Party won an outright majority in parliament in a snap election Sunday, handing Prime Minister António Costa an opportunity to pass his budget and guide the country out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Socialists won 117 seats in the 230-seat parliament, up from 108, giving the party its second majority in Portugal's history, BBC News reports. Costa called the election after two smaller parties bolted his coalition. Polls had suggested the Socialists would lose seats.

The main opposition Social Democrats, a center-right party, won 71 seats, while the far-right Chega party won 12 seats, making it the third-largest bloc in parliament. 

Costa promised to govern for all Portuguese. "An absolute majority doesn't mean absolute power," he said. "It doesn't mean governing alone. It's an increased responsibility." He also said he would work to govern with any party except Chega.