2021 Portuguese presidential election

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2021 Portuguese presidential election

← 2016 24 January 2021 2026 →
Opinion polls
Registered10,847,434 Increase11.2%
Turnout4,258,356 (39.3% Decrease 9.4 pp)
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa em 2017.png
Ana Gomes.jpg
André Ventura (Agencia LUSA, Entrevista Presidenciais 2021), cropped.png
Candidate Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa Ana Gomes André Ventura
Party PSD[a] PS[b] CH
Popular vote 2,531,692 540,823 497,746
Percentage 60.7% 13.0% 11.9%

Mapa das eleições presidenciais portuguesas de 2021 por distritos.svg
Results by districts.

President before election

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

Elected President

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

The 2021 presidential election was held in Portugal on 24 January.[1] The incumbent President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, was reelected for a second term.

The election was held during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Portugal was under a lockdown as of election day.[2] President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was reelected by a landslide, winning 60.7% of the votes.[3] He won every district in the country and all 308 municipalities, a result which happened for the first time ever in Portuguese democracy; he won 3,083 parishes out of 3,092.[4] The election also marked the rise of right-wing candidate André Ventura, leader of CHEGA, who polled 3rd with almost 12% of the votes.[5] In second place, former MEP and Ambassador Ana Gomes was able to win 13% of the votes, the best result ever for a female candidate in a presidential election.[6] The rest of candidates did not receive above 5% each.

Overall turnout in this election fell to 39.3%, a drop of 9 percentage points, mainly due to the automatic registration of overseas voters; this practice increased the number of registered voters to almost 11 million.[7] In Portugal alone, turnout stood at 45.45%, a decrease of 4.6 percentage points when compared to the 2016 election. This was the lowest drop in turnout in an election with an incumbent running since 1980.[8]


Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was elected in 2016 with 52% of the votes on the first round.[9] He took the oath of office on 9 March 2016 and has been in cohabitation with Socialist Prime Minister António Costa since then.[10]

In Portugal, the president is the head of state and has mostly ceremonial powers.[11] However, the president does have some political influence, and can dissolve the Parliament of Portugal if a crisis occurs. The president's official residence is the Belém Palace in Lisbon.[12]

Electoral system[edit]

Under Portuguese law, a candidate must receive a majority of votes (50% plus one vote) to be elected. If no candidate achieved a majority in the first round, a runoff election (i.e., second round, held between the two candidates who received the most votes in the first round) should be held.[13]

In order to stand for election, each candidate must gather 7,500 signatures of support one month before the election and submit them to the Constitutional Court of Portugal. The Constitutional Court then certifies the candidacies which meet the requirements to appear on the ballot. The highest number of candidacies ever accepted was ten in 2016.[14]

Early voting[edit]

Voters were also able to vote early, which would happen one week before election day on 17 January 2021. Voters had to register between 10 and 14 January in order to be eligible to cast an early ballot; a total of 246,880 voters requested to vote early in 2021.[15] On January 17, 197,903 voters (80.16% of voters that registered) cast an early ballot.[12][16]


Official logo of the election.
Ballot paper for the 2021 Portuguese presidential election. It includes Eduardo Baptista, a candidate rejected due to insufficient signatures.

There were seven candidates certified to run in this election. In addition, the Constitutional Court rejected Eduardo Baptista's nomination due to insufficient signatures, although his name still appeared on the ballot. Six more individuals had announced their intention to run for President, but did not present any application to the Court, two of whom publicly stated that they would withdraw. Finally, three more individuals were, for a while, thought of as potential candidates, but later refused to participate.

Formalized candidacy[edit]

Rejected candidates[edit]

  • Eduardo Baptista, NATO Staff Officer, Independent;[28][c]

Unsuccessful candidates[edit]




Candidates' slogans[edit]

Candidate Original slogan English translation Refs
Marisa Matias « Força Maior » "Greater Force" [37]
João Ferreira « Coragem e confiança. Um horizonte de esperança » "Courage and confidence. A horizon of hope" [38]
Vitorino Silva « O Povo a Presidente! » "The People for President!" [39]
Ana Gomes « Cuidar de Portugal » "Taking care of Portugal" [40]
André Ventura « Por Portugal, Pelos Portugueses! » "For Portugal, for the Portuguese!" [41]
Tiago Mayan Gonçalves « A alternativa liberal » "The liberal alternative" [42]
Bruno Fialho[d] « A escolha certa » "The right choice" [43]

Candidates' debates[edit]

2021 Portuguese presidential election debates
Date Time Organisers Moderator(s)     I  Invitee    P  Present    A  Absent invitee
Rebelo de Sousa Gomes Ventura Matias Ferreira Mayan Silva Refs
2 Jan 2021 9PM RTP1 Carlos Daniel P P [44]
10PM TVI24 Carla Moita P P [44]
3 Jan 2021 9PM RTP1 Carlos Daniel P P [44]
4 Jan 2021 9PM TVI Pedro Mourinho P P [44]
10PM SIC Notícias Clara de Sousa P P [44]
10:45PM RTP3 Carlos Daniel P P [45]
5 Jan 2021 9PM RTP1 Carlos Daniel P P [44]
10PM SIC Notícias Clara de Sousa P P [44]
10:45PM RTP3 Carlos Daniel P P [45]
6 Jan 2021 9PM SIC Clara de Sousa P P [44]
10PM TVI24 Carla Moita P P [44]
10:45PM RTP3 Carlos Daniel P P [45]
7 Jan 2021 9PM SIC Clara de Sousa P P [44]
10PM TVI24 Carla Moita P P [44]
10:45PM RTP3 Carlos Daniel P P [45]
8 Jan 2021 9PM TVI Pedro Mourinho P P [44]
9:30PM RTP1 Carlos Daniel P P [44]
10:45PM RTP3 Carlos Daniel P P [45]
9 Jan 2021 9PM RTP1 Carlos Daniel P P [44]
10PM SIC Notícias Clara de Sousa P P [44]
10:45PM RTP3 Carlos Daniel P P [45]
12 Jan 2021 9PM RTP1 Carlos Daniel P[e] P P P P P P [46]
18 Jan 2021 9AM Antena 1,
Natália Carvalho
Eunice Lourenço
Judith Menezes e Sousa
P P A P P P P [47]

Opinion polling[edit]


Summary of the 24 January 2021 Portuguese presidential election results
Candidates Supporting parties First round
Votes %
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa Social Democratic Party, People's Party 2,531,692 60.66
Ana Gomes People–Animals–Nature, LIVRE 540,823 12.96
André Ventura CHEGA 497,746 11.93
João Ferreira Portuguese Communist Party, Ecologist Party "The Greens" 179,764 4.31
Marisa Matias Left Bloc, Socialist Alternative Movement 165,127 3.96
Tiago Mayan Gonçalves Liberal Initiative 134,991 3.23
Vitorino Silva React, Include, Recycle 123,031 2.95
Total valid 4,173,174 100.00
Blank ballots 47,164 1.11
[f]Invalid ballots 38,018 0.89
Total 4,258,356
Registered voters/turnout 10,847,434 39.26
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições
Vote share 1st Round
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
Ana Gomes
André Ventura
João Ferreira
Marisa Matias
Tiago Mayan Gonçalves
Vitorino Silva


Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa won the third highest vote margin ever in presidential elections in Portugal since democracy was restored, only behind Mário Soares' 70.35% in 1991 and António Ramalho Eanes' 61.59% in 1976.[48] He was also the first candidate ever to win the vote in all municipalities.[49]

Ana Gomes became the most voted woman ever in presidential elections in Portugal, beating Marisa Matias' previous record of 10.12% in 2016, and the first to get second place.[50]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Supported by PSD and CDS-PP
  2. ^ Supported by PAN and LIVRE; even though she is a member of PS, the party did not officially back any candidate in particular
  3. ^ Candidate only delivered 11 signatures, of which only 6 were valid, far short of the required 7,500. However, his name appeared on ballots, as they started being printed before the Court officially verified all candidacies' documents. Votes for Eduardo Baptista were counted as invalid.
  4. ^ Withdrew
  5. ^ Via videotelephony
  6. ^ Includes votes for candidate Eduardo Baptista.


  1. ^ "O Presidente da República, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, marcou hoje as eleições presidenciais para 24 de janeiro de 2021". www.24.sapo.pt (in Portuguese). Sapo. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  2. ^ "Portugal holds presidential election as COVID-19 cases spiral". Reuters. 23 January 2021.
  3. ^ "President Rebelo de Sousa wins landslide reelection in Portugal". Politico. 24 January 2021.
  4. ^ "As nove freguesias — em 3.092 — onde Marcelo não ganhou". Observador. 25 January 2021.
  5. ^ "Marcelo dominou, Ana Gomes foi 2.ª mas Ventura venceu mais distritos. Esquerda caiu a pique". SIC Notícias. 25 January 2021.
  6. ^ "Presidenciais: Ana Gomes é a mulher mais votada de sempre". Público. 24 January 2021.
  7. ^ "Recenseamento automático de emigrantes fez subir abstenção seis pontos". TSF Radio. 25 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Sem eleitores no estrangeiros, abstenção foi de 54,46%". Público. 26 January 2021.
  9. ^ "Marcelo ganha à primeira com dobro dos votos de Nóvoa". Público. 24 January 2016.
  10. ^ "A tomada de posse de Marcelo em imagens". Rádio Renascença. 9 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Presidente de Portugal, Rebelo de Sousa, ganha novo mandato em cédula socialmente distanciada". Diário Regiao Sul. 24 January 2021.
  12. ^ a b "Funções do Presidente". Presidency of the Republic.
  14. ^ "Regulamenta a eleição do Presidente da República". Diário da República.
  15. ^ "Portugueses começam a votar nas Presidenciais este domingo e há 246 mil inscritos ", Eco, 16 January 2021. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  16. ^ "80% dos inscritos votaram no domingo para as presidenciais", Eco, 21 January 2021. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  17. ^ "Ana Gomes é candidata à Presidência da República". www.publico.pt (in Portuguese). Público. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  18. ^ "Presidenciais: "Se não estivesse aqui não haveria uma candidatura para os que se reveem no socialismo democrático", afirma Ana Gomes". www.executivedigest.sapo.pt (in Portuguese). Executive Digest. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  19. ^ “Depois das legislativas, Ventura avança para as Presidenciais”, Jornal i (August 24, 2019).
  20. ^ "PCP anuncia candidatura do eurodeputado João Ferreira às eleições presidenciais". www.jornaleconomico.sapo.pt (in Portuguese). Jornal Económico. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  21. ^ “Marcelo confirma recandidatura: “Não vou sair a meio de uma caminhada exigente e penosa“, TVI24 (December 07, 2020).
  22. ^ “Presidenciais: Marcelo entrega 12.747 assinaturas e promete “campanha pela positiva”“, Visão (December 23, 2020).
  23. ^ Borges, Liliana (5 September 2020). "BE entra na corrida às eleições presidenciais com Marisa Matias" (in Portuguese). Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  24. ^ Borges, Liliana (25 July 2020). "Iniciativa Liberal já tem candidato a Belém: chama-se Tiago Mayan Gonçalves e diz-se "descomprometido"" [Liberal Initiative already has a candidate for Belém: his name is Tiago Mayan Gonçalves and he says he is "uncompromised"] (in Portuguese). Público. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  25. ^ Tello Silva, Mafalda (24 December 2020). "Tiago Mayan formaliza candidatura à Presidência da República" (in Portuguese). Notícias ao Minuto. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  26. ^ a b Agência, Lusa (September 8, 2020). "Presidenciais. De André Ventura a Tino de Rans, já são oito os pré-candidatos a Belém" [Presidentials. From André Ventura to Tino de Rans, there are already eight pre-candidates for Belém] (in Portuguese). Observador. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  27. ^ Lusa, Agência (December 23, 2020). "Tino de Rans diz-se "candidato do povo" com gabinete "na rua" ao oficializar candidatura à presidência" (in Portuguese). Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  28. ^ “Eduardo Baptista é o primeiro nome do boletim de voto para as presidenciais. Mas não vai a votos“, Sapo (December 30, 2020).
  29. ^ Alvarez, Luciano. "O PS já tem uma militante que quer ser Presidente". PÚBLICO.
  30. ^ "Presidenciais têm mais um candidato. E não poupa críticas a Marcelo - DN". www.dn.pt.
  31. ^ "Patinha Antão quer ser candidato a PR para ser rosto dos desempregados". Notícias ao Minuto. October 5, 2020.
  32. ^ Lusa (12 December 2020). "Presidenciais. Bruno Fialho do PDR desiste de candidatura a Belém" [Presidentials. Bruno Fialho of PDR gives up his candidacy to Belém] (in Portuguese). Público. Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  33. ^ "#221 Gonçalo da Câmara Pereira Desiste da Candidatura Presidencial - Eleições Presidenciais 2021 - YouTube". www.youtube.com.
  34. ^ "Adolfo Mesquita Nunes afasta candidatura às Presidenciais". www.observador.pt (in Portuguese). Observador. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  35. ^ “Se há uma coisa que aprendi é que nunca se deve dizer nunca a nada”, Público (January 24, 2018).
  36. ^ "Miguel Albuquerque continua a equacionar candidatura a Belém". www.dnoticiais.pt (in Portuguese). Diário de Notícias da Madeira. 10 September 2020. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  37. ^ "Marisa 2021" (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 9 December 2020. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  38. ^ "João Ferreira 2021" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  39. ^ "Partido RIR" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  40. ^ "Ana Gomes 2021" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  41. ^ "Ventura 2021" (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 2 January 2021. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  42. ^ "Mayan 2021" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  43. ^ "PDR Facebook" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  44. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Debates televisivos arrancam em 2 de janeiro e terminam no dia 9". RTP (in Portuguese). 10 December 2020. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  45. ^ a b c d e f "Debates televisivos para as presidenciais já arrancaram. Conheça o calendário". ECO (in Portuguese). 2 January 2021. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  46. ^ "Marcelo abre e fecha os debates eleitorais nas televisões, entre 2 e 9 de Janeiro". Público (in Portuguese). 10 December 2020. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  47. ^ "Presidenciais. Marcelo segura votos, Ventura e Ana Gomes na luta pelo segundo lugar". Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). 2 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  48. ^ Machado, Alexandra; Filipe, Celso; Santiago, David; Curvelo, Pedro (25 January 2021). "Marcelo obteve o terceiro melhor resultado de sempre em presidenciais". Jornal de Negócios. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  49. ^ Camilo, Diogo (25 January 2021). "Marcelo é o primeiro Presidente da República a vencer em todos os concelhos do país". Sábado. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  50. ^ Lusa (25 January 2021). "Presidenciais: Ana Gomes é a mulher mais votada de sempre em Portugal". Visão. Retrieved 27 January 2021.

External links[edit]