Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was re-elected President of the Republic last Sunday with a reinforced vote, representing the third highest percentage in presidential elections in Portuguese democracy, 60.70 percent of the votes, the second highest in a re-election.
The 72-year-old retired professor, who ran for head of state, formally supported by PSD and CDS-PP parties, was re-elected with approximately 2.5 million votes, in an election with an abstention of 54.55 percent, the highest ever in suffrages for the choice of head of state. Municipalities with the highest abstention in Sunday’s presidential elections were all found to have very high values of Covid-19, noting that people whose prophylactic confinement was decreed after they were able to register to the early vote, could not go to vote on 24 January.
“I am quite aware that the confidence now renewed is not a blank cheque”, said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, promising “to continue to be a President of each and every Portuguese, a close President, a President who will stabilise, a President who unites, who is not a President of faction, a President who respects pluralism and difference, a President who never gives up on social justice”.
This speech was made on an election night when the candidate of the far-right, Andre Ventura, supported by the Chega party, achieved 3rd place in this election, with half a million Portuguese voting for him, representing a result above 11 percent. This is a result that has never been seen before in modern Portuguese politics.
Ana Gomes, the second candidate, could not achieve the goal of forcing a second round of the presidential elections, but achieved the “patriotic goal” of being ahead of André Ventura, but with a difference of less than 50,000 votes.
With 12.97 percent and 541,345 votes, the PS activist - who did not have the support of her own party, but only PAN and Livre parties- was the most voted for woman ever in presidential elections.
Ana Gomes managed to be in second place in less districts than Ventura - seven of the 18 national districts (in the mainland), but she did it in the most populous ones, such as Lisbon, Porto and Setúbal, and along the entire coast, except Leiria.
The far-right candidate Andre Ventura took second place in the presidential elections in around 200 counties, more than twice as many as Ana Gomes. However, he remained third at the national level.
Although the candidate took on her personal responsibility the ‘failure’ of the second round - Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was re-elected with more than 60 percent of the votes -, she criticized the PS, for not having given an indication of a vote for any candidate and having contributed to the victory of the “democratic right”.
André Ventura, leader of the Chega party, took second place in 204 counties, having obtained better results across the interior of the country, from north to south, in municipalities with low population density.
The best results recorded by the socialist were in Porto (20 percent), Lisbon (18.5 percent) Matosinhos (18 percent), Gondomar, Vila Nova de Gaia, Maia, Oeiras and Coimbra, all with around 17 percent- counties with higher levels of population, enabling her to secure second place.
The left candidates achieved the lowest result ever, not having enough votes to see the campaign expenses reimbursed and leaving the parties themselves to have to foot the bills. This is the case of João Ferreira, PCP candidate, who achieved 4.32 percent of the votes and Marisa Matias, Bloco de Esquerda candidate, who got 3.95 percent.
Tiago Mayan Gonçalves, Iniciativa Liberal, had 3.22 percent, for a candidate who represents a recent party in parliament; it was a better result than he had in the elections for parliament. Vitorino Silva, the independent candidate known as Tino de Rans, achieved 2.94 percent.