New opinion poll figures released on Wednesday show the two major political parties — the Socialist Party (PS) and the Social Democrat Party (PSD) — in a perfect tie, with 36 percent of the vote respectively, for the June 5 snap elections in Portugal. The poll was conducted by the Catholic University of Lisbon.
Recent polls have given a lead of between two and six percentage points to Passos Coelho ( PSD). According to a poll by Intercampus released on May 17, Coelho (PSD) led with 36,1 percent over Socrates (PS) with 35,4 percent.
Without a clear favorite, the prospect is that PSD may win the elections by a slight margin and will form a governing coalition with the minority right-wing CDS-PT which holds 10 percent of the vote.
Figures released May 6, showed Socrates (PS) with 36 percent of votes, over Coelho (PSD) with 34 percent. Poll figures released on April 21, showed Socrates (PS) leading in polls with 36.1 percent, while Coelho (PSD) stayed at 35.3 percent.
An earlier March poll had predicted that Coelho (PSD) would win the June 5 elections with 46.7 percent of votes over outgoing incumbent Socrates (PS) with 24.5 percent.
José Socrates resigned last in March, after his minority government austerity measures were rejected in Parliament by the parties in opposition. He was under pressure from the opposition to request the European Union bailout which he refused and then requested after having resigned.
On May 16 the European Union finance ministers approved a 78 billion-euro ($110 billion-USD) bailout for Portugal with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Portugal is the third EU country, after Greece and Ireland, receiving financial aid from its European partners.
Socrates and his minority Socialist Party have governed since the last election in 2009. He is currently a caretaker prime minister with limited powers until a new government is formed.
Bailout row set to dominate Portuguese campaign