“Socialist stumble in Lisbon in local elections marked by abstention”, headlines the Spanish agency EFE.
The agency also emphasises that the victory of Carlos Moedas, elected mayor of Lisbon with 34.25% of the votes, was a surprise, noting that "no one doubted Medina's advantage" and that the rise of the right in the capital "is a tough one" for the party of the prime minister, António Costa.
Agence France Presse (AFP) writes that “the socialists in power in Portugal won the municipal elections on Sunday, but suffered a surprise defeat in Lisbon”.
“Out of a total of 308 municipalities, Prime Minister António Costa's camp obtained 34.4% of the votes and won in at least 147 municipalities, against 30.8% of the votes and 108 municipalities of the centre-right opposition”, writes the AFP.
“In Lisbon, the right-wing coalition led by former European commissioner Carlos Moedas defied all predictions to defeat the outgoing mayor Fernando Medina (…), with 35.8% of the votes against 31.7%”, he writes.
The AFP also underlines a slight increase in abstention, to 46.3%, and writes that these elections took place in a context “generally favourable to the government of Antonio Costa”, who last week announced the lifting, as of October 1st, of most of the health restrictions still in place because of the pandemic.
“The prime minister personally invested a lot in the campaign by promising to restore the economy of the country, which was hit hard by the covid-19 pandemic, thanks to investment projects financed by the European recovery plan,” he adds.
In national terms, the PS was the party that won the most chambers in the local councils on Sunday and had the most votes, with 34.42% of the vote, followed by the PSD, with 13.30%. The PPD/PSD.CDS-PP coalitions won 10.66% of the votes, the PCP-PEV 8.22%, the Citizens' Groups 5.54%, the Chega 4.17% and the Left Block 2.76% . The Liberal Initiative party received 1.29% of the votes and the PAN 1.14%.