Portuguese presidential election, 1980

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Portuguese presidential election, 1980
← 1976 7 December 1980 1986 →
Turnout 84,39%
  António Ramalho Eanes.jpg No image.png
Candidate António Ramalho Eanes António Soares Carneiro
Party Independent AD
Popular vote 3,262,520 2,325,481
Percentage 56.4% 40.2%

President before election

António Ramalho Eanes


António Ramalho Eanes

Coat of arms of Portugal.svg

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of

The Portuguese presidential election of 1980 was held on 7 December.

Incumbent president General Ramalho Eanes gathered the support of the Socialist Party, despite the objection of their leader, Mário Soares, and also the support of the Portuguese Communist Party, whose candidate, Carlos Brito, withdrew the week before the election giving his support to Eanes. The Communist Party of the Portuguese Workers also gave support to Eanes, whose picture became a feature on numerous walls around the country, painted by Communist Party activists.

One of the major players in the democratic revolution of 1974, Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, was also a candidate, for the second time, but finished far behind his previous result of 1976. The newly founded Workers Party of Socialist Unity presented its own candidate, Aires Rodrigues.

His main opponent, General Soares Carneiro, was known for his right-wing views and was branded by opponents as a hardliner, with links to the dictatotial regime overthrown only six years before. He was supported by the Democratic Alliance, a centre-right coalition comprising the Social Democratic Party the Democratic Social Center, and the smaller People's Monarchist Party.

Two days before the election, two of Soares Carneiro's leading supporters, Prime Minister Francisco Sá Carneiro (no relation) and Defence Minister Adelino Amaro da Costa died in the 1980 Camarate air crash while heading for a rally in Oporto. Despite the accident, the election went ahead as planned, and predictions that a second round would be needed were shown to be wrong, with Ramalho Eanes winning with almost 57 percent, against 40 percent for Soares Carneiro.


Any Portuguese citizen over 35 years old has the opportunity to run for president. In order to do so it is necessary to gather between 7500 and 15000 signatures and submit them to the Portuguese Constitutional Court.

According to the Portuguese Constitution, to be elected, a candidate needs a majority of votes. If no candidate gets this majority there will take place a second round between the two most voted candidates.



e • d Summary of the 7 December 1980 Portuguese presidential election re sults
Candidates Supporting parties First round
Votes %
António Ramalho Eanes Independent 3,262,520 56.44
António Soares Carneiro Democratic Alliance 2,325,481 40.23
Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho Independent 85,896 1.49
Carlos Galvão de Melo Independent 48,468 0.84
António Pires Veloso Independent 45,132 0.78
António Aires Rodrigues Workers Party of Socialist Unity 12,745 0.22
Carlos Brito[A] Portuguese Communist Party left the race
Total valid 5,780,242 100.00
Blank ballots 44,014 0.75
Invalid ballots 16,076 0.28
Total (turnout 84.39%) 5,840,332
A He left the race in favor of Ramalho Eanes.
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições
Vote share 1st Round
António Ramalho Eanes
António Soares Carneiro
Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho
Carlos Galvão de Melo
António Pires Veloso
António Aires Rodrigues

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