With 41.7% of the votes and 117 deputies in parliament, António Costa has managed to achieve the second absolute majority in the history of the Socialist Party, after José Sócrates in 2005. This majority means that he will no longer have to fall back on the support of smaller parties to approve laws and budgets.
Costa managed to not only to withstand the wear and tear of six years of socialist governance, but also to overcome all the expectations created during the electoral campaign, including the polls, which repeatedly pointed to a "technical tie" between PS and PSD.
After hesitating in calling for an absolute majority, which he asked for in the early days of the campaign and then abandoned, the socialist leader sees the political map painted pink as the PS, with wins in all constituencies on the continent and in the Azores, only losing in Madeira (even so, the number of deputies is tied with the PSD, three for each).
Despite the campaign's hesitations, PS was successful in its strategy of concentrating the useful vote of the left, inflicting a heavy defeat on its former partners from 'Geringonça', BE and PCP, who ended up paying the bill for the failure of the State Budget which led to the early elections.
António Costa took advantage of the victory speech to point out the value of stability, and promising the continuation of the dialogue.
"An absolute majority is not absolute power, it is not governing alone, it is an increased responsibility, it is governing with and for all Portuguese people", he said.
Small victories and big resignations
The night was also one of victory for some of the newer parties, Chega and Iniciativa Liberal, at the expense of PSD and CDS-PP, who saw their respective leaders set the stage for dismissal.
Chega, with 7.1% and 12 deputies, became the third force represented in parliament. The Liberal Initiative was the fourth, with 5% and eight seats in the Assembly of the Republic.
The CDS-PP also made history by disappearing from parliament. With 1.6% of the votes and without electing any deputy for the first time in 47 years of democracy, the CDS-PP leader was the second "victim" of the election night and announced his resignation.
Before Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos, the PSD president, Rui Rio, had already anticipated his departure from the scene, stating that he could hardly continue in office with an absolute majority of the PS.
"If it is confirmed that the PS has an absolute majority, I honestly don't see how I can be useful in this context", stressed the Social Democrat leader, who obtained 27.8% of the votes and 78 deputies, a percentage result equal to that of previous legislatives.
On the left, there were no resignations, despite the failure of the CDU and BE, which are reduced to six and five deputies, respectively, when in the legislature that is now ending there were 12 and 19. As a curiosity, the BE has one less deputy than the CDU, despite having more votes, which is explained by the distribution of votes by constituencies. The PEV, which never stood for elections and always ran in alliance with the PCP, also lost its representation in parliament.
Livre elects its head of list for Lisbon, Rui Tavares, and remains in the Assembly of the Republic, after having lost representation in the legislature now ended with the departure of Joacine Katar Moreira, who became a non-registered deputy.
The PAN is another of the losers of the election night, by electing only its spokesperson, Inês Sousa Real, after having won four terms in the Assembly of the Republic in the 2019 legislative elections, with André Silva in the lead.
The result of Sunday's vote also gives political coverage to the decision of the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, to dissolve parliament following the failure of the State Budget for 2022. Marcelo asked for clarification and voters responded with a majority solution, with all conditions of stability, for the next four years.
The PS party took the most votes, with 41.68% of the votes and 117 elected deputies, the PSD was the second, with 27.80% of the votes and 71 deputies, Chega third, with 7.15% and 12 deputies, IL fourth, with 5% and eight deputies, BE in sixth, with 4.46% and five deputies, the CDU with 4.39% and six deputies, the PAN with 1.53% and one deputy, and the Livre with 1.28% and one deputy. The CDS-PP gained 1.61%, but did not elect any deputy.