Portugal vote: Governing coalition ahead, exit polls suggest

Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho (L) and Socialist leader Antonio Costa (R) Image copyright EPA
Image caption Centre-right PM Pedro Passos Coelho (L) was being challenged by Socialist leader Antonio Costa (R)

Exit polls and early results suggest Portugal's centre-right governing coalition has won Sunday's election.

With most votes counted, the coalition is ahead with about 39%, followed by the Socialists on just under 32%, official results show.

The poll was seen as a referendum on four years of spending cuts.

The governing coalition had vowed to continue the policies, in place since 2011 after it was forced to seek a eurozone bailout.

The opposition Socialists, led by Antonio Costa, and other left-wing groups had criticised the cuts.

Unemployment has been falling for two-and-a-half years, but many regard the recovery as fragile.

The centre-right Social Democratic Party, led by Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, and its right-wing ally, the People's Party, put up joint lists.

Read more: Coalition hopes to survive austerity anger

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption There have been protests against spending cuts

Portugal economy figures


of the workforce is unemployed


of people live below the poverty line

  • 485,000 emigrated from Portugal between 2011 and 2014

  • 125% debt to GDP - the second highest rate in the European Union

Image copyright AP

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