Portuguese legislative election, 1987

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Portuguese legislative election, 1987

← 1985 19 July 1987 1991 →

250 seats to the Portuguese Assembly
125 seats needed for a majority
Registered 7,930,668 Increase1.4%
Turnout 5,676,358 (71.6%)
Decrease2.6 pp

  First party Second party Third party
  Cavaco Silva 2007.jpg Informal Meeting of EU Finance Ministers (26486792252) (cropped).jpg Alvaro Cunhal 1980 (cropped).jpg
Leader Aníbal Cavaco Silva Vítor Constâncio Álvaro Cunhal
Party PSD PS CDU
Leader since 2 June 1985 29 June 1986 30 September 1987
Leader's seat Lisbon[1] Lisbon[2] Lisbon
Last election 88 seats, 29.9% 57 seats, 20.8% 38 seats, 15.5%
Seats won 148 60 31
Seat change Increase 60 Increase 3 Decrease 7
Popular vote 2,850,784 1,262,506 689,137
Percentage 50.2% 22.2% 12.1%
Swing Increase 20.3 pp Increase 1.4 pp Decrease 3.4 pp

  Fourth party Fifth party
  Ramalho Eanes (1983-09-14) (cropped).png Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg
Leader Ramalho Eanes Adriano Moreira
Party PRD CDS
Leader since 1986 24 February 1985
Leader's seat Lisbon Lisbon
Last election 45 seats, 17.9% 22 seats, 10.0%
Seats won 7 4
Seat change Decrease 38 Decrease 18
Popular vote 278,561 251,987
Percentage 4.9% 4.4%
Swing Decrease 13.0 pp Decrease 5.6 pp

Prime Minister before election

Aníbal Cavaco Silva
PSD

Elected Prime Minister

Aníbal Cavaco Silva
PSD

The Portuguese legislative election of 1987 took place on 19 July. In the previous election, in 1985, the Social Democratic Party had won a minority government managing to survive in coalition with the Democratic and Social Center and the Democratic Renewal Party, and after the approval of a no-confidence motion from the left-wing parties, with the aid of the Democratic Renewal Party, the government fell and Mário Soares, the President at the time, called for a new election.

The PSD was elected to a landslide majority government—the biggest that a Portuguese party had ever won in a free election. Although the PSD was very popular going into the election, the size of its victory far exceeded the party's most optimistic expectations. The left-wing Democratic Unity Coalition lost some of its MPs to the Socialist Party and the Democratic Renovator Party lost almost all of its influence, mainly due to its responsibility in the fall of the former government. The right-wing Democratic and Social Center lost almost half of its vote share, due to the effect of tactical voting for the also right-wing, Social Democratic Party. European elections were held on the same day.

Electoral system[edit]

The Parliament of the Portuguese Republic consists of a single chamber, the Assembly of the Republic, composed of 250 members directly elected by universal adult suffrage for a maximum term of four years. Assembly members represent the entire country, rather than the constituencies in which they were elected. Governments require majority support in the Assembly in order to remain in office.

Each one of Portugal's eighteen administrative districts, as well as each one of the country's two autonomous regions - the Azores and Madeira - is an electoral constituency. Portuguese voters residing outside the national territory are grouped into two electoral constituencies - Europe and the rest of the world - each one of which elects two Assembly members. The remaining 246 seats are allocated among the national territory constituencies in proportion to their number of registered electors.

Political parties and party coalitions may present lists of candidates. The lists are closed, so electors may not choose individual candidates in or alter the order of such lists. Electors cast a ballot for a single list. The seats in each constituency are divided among parties according to the largest average method of proportional representation (PR), conceived by the Belgian mathematician Victor d'Hondt in 1899. Although there is no statutory threshold for participation in the allocation of Assembly seats, there is an effective threshold at the constituency level that depends on the district magnitude.[3] The use of the d'Hondt method makes for a higher effective threshold than certain other allocation method such as the Hare quota or Sainte-Laguë method, which are more generous to small parties.[4]

Parties[edit]

The major parties involved and the respective leaders:

Aníbal Cavaco Silva, leader of the Social Democratic Party, was nominated Prime Minister.

Opinion Polling[edit]

The following table shows the opinion polls of voting intention of the Portuguese voters before the election. Those parties that are listed are currently represented in parliament. Included is also the result of the Portuguese general elections in 1985 and 1987 for reference.

Date Released Polling Firm PSD PS CDU PRD CDS Others Lead
19 Jul 1987 Leg. Election 50.2
148 seats
22.2
60 seats
12.1
31 seats
4.9
7 seats
4.4
4 seats
6.2
0 seats
28.0
19 Jul RTP1 48.0–50.0 21.0–23.0 12.5–14.5 5.0–7.0 3.0–5.0 27.0
19 Jul Antena1 45.0–47.0 24.0–25.0 21.0–22.0
Exit polls
17 Jul Euroexpansão/Expresso 41.0–44.0 22.0–25.0 13.0–15.0 11.0–14.0 4.0–6.0 19.0
1987
6 Oct 1985 Leg. Election 29.9
88 seats
20.8
57 seats
15.5
38 seats
17.9
45 seats
10.0
22 seats
5.9
0 seats
9.1

National summary of votes and seats[edit]

e • d Summary of the 19 July 1987 Assembly of the Republic elections results
AR Eleicoes 1987.svg
Parties Votes % ± MPs MPs %/
votes %
1985 1987 ± % ±
Social Democratic 2,850,784 50.22 Increase20.3 88 148 Increase60 59.20 Increase24.0 1.18
Socialist 1,262,506 22.24 Increase1.4 57 60 Increase3 24.00 Increase1.2 1.08
Democratic Unity Coalition[A][B] 689,137 12.14 Decrease3.4 38 31 Decrease7 12.40 Decrease2.8 1.02
Democratic Renewal 278,561 4.91 Decrease13.0 45 7 Decrease38 2.80 Decrease15.2 0.57
Democratic and Social Centre 251,987 4.44 Decrease5.6 22 4 Decrease18 1.60 Decrease7.2 0.36
People's Democratic Union 50,717 0.89 Decrease0.4 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0.0 0.0
Revolutionary Socialist 32,977 0.58 Decrease0.0 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0.0 0.0
Portuguese Democratic Movement 32,607 0.57 N/A N/A 0 N/A 0.00 N/A 0.0
Christian Democratic 31,667 0.56 Decrease0.1 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0.0 0.0
People's Monarchist 23,218 0.41 N/A N/A 0 N/A 0.00 N/A 0.0
Portuguese Workers' Communist 20,800 0.37 Increase0.1 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0.0 0.0
Communist Party (Reconstructed) 18,544 0.33 Increase0.1 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0.0 0.0
Workers Party of Socialist Unity 9,185 0.16 Decrease0.6 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0.0 0.0
Total valid 5,552,690 97.82 Increase0.3 250 250 Steady0 100.00 Steady0.0
Blank ballots 50,135 0.88 Increase0.1
Invalid ballots 73,533 1.30 Decrease0.4
Total (turnout 71.57%) 5,676,358 100.00 Decrease2.6
A In 1985, as United People Alliance.
B Portuguese Communist Party (29 MPs) and "The Greens" (2 MPs) ran in coalition.
[5]
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições
Vote share
PSD
50.22%
PS
22.24%
CDU
12.14%
PRD
4.91%
CDS
4.44%
UDP
0.89%
PSR
0.58%
MDP
0.57%
PDC
0.56%
Others
1.27%
Blank/Invalid
2.18%
Parliamentary seats
PSD
59.20%
PS
24.00%
CDU
12.40%
PRD
2.80%
CDS
1.60%

Distribution by constituency[edit]

e • d Results of the 1987 election of the Portuguese Assembly of the Republic
by constituency
Constituency % S % S % S % S % S Total
S
PSD PS CDU PRD CDS
Azores 66.7 4 20.0 1 2.3 - 3.0 - 3.3 - 5
Aveiro 60.4 11 22.9 4 4.4 - 2.7 - 5.3 - 15
Beja 24.5 1 20.3 1 38.7 3 5.7 - 2.0 - 5
Braga 53.4 10 25.9 5 6.1 1 3.3 - 5.9 1 17
Bragança 60.8 3 19.2 1 3.2 - 1.3 - 7.6 - 4
Castelo Branco 52.1 4 22.4 2 7.1 - 6.0 - 4.7 - 6
Coimbra 50.0 6 28.7 4 7.2 1 3.5 - 4.5 - 11
EvoraÉvora 32.1 2 15.4 - 36.2 2 7.7 - 2.1 - 4
Faro 46.7 5 24.9 3 10.9 1 6.3 - 3.1 - 9
Guarda 60.0 4 21.8 1 3.3 - 2.0 - 6.6 - 5
Leiria 60.8 9 18.7 2 5.9 - 3.0 - 6.0 - 11
Lisbon 45.8 28 21.2 12 16.5 10 6.9 4 3.7 2 56
Madeira 65.5 4 16.2 1 1.9 - 3.3 - 5.2 - 5
Portalegre 37.4 1 25.1 1 20.9 1 6.3 - 3.1 - 3
Porto 50.9 22 26.7 11 9.4 4 4.0 1 4.0 1 39
Santarém 47.9 7 21.7 3 12.6 1 7.3 1 3.6 - 12
Setúbal 32.6 6 17.6 3 32.7 7 8.7 1 1.9 - 17
Viana do Castelo 54.5 5 20.3 1 6.3 - 4.8 - 7.7 - 6
Vila Real 62.5 5 20.3 1 4.1 - 1.4 - 5.0 - 6
Viseu 64.1 8 17.9 2 2.9 - 1.7 - 7.0 - 10
zEurope 37.0 1 28.4 1 15.9 - 4.9 - 6.6 - 2
zRest of the World 63.2 2 7.3 - 1.4 - 1.7 - 19.9 - 2
Total 50.2 148 22.2 60 12.1 31 4.9 7 4.4 4 250
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições

Maps[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]