31 Jan, 2022

Liberals boost their presence in Portugal’s Parliament

On Sunday 30 January, voters in Portugal went to the polls for early parliamentary elections. According to the provisional results, ALDE Party member party Iniciativa Liberal (IL) can celebrate a big increase in their share of the vote resulting in an impressive boost of its presence in the next Parliament of Portugal.

With the count of 99.13% of the votes complete at the time of publication, the party has received almost 270,000 votes (4.98% nationwide) which will translate into eight mandates in the next Parliament with the seats allocated according to constituency. This will make Iniciativa Liberal the fourth political force in the country’s Parliament outscoring the Communist-Green alliance (PCP–PEV) and the Left Bloc (L.E.).

The party achieved 7.90% of the vote in the Lisbon constituency – more than 10% in Lisbon city itself –  and won there four of its eight seats including that of party leader João Cotrim Figueiredo. The party also won two mandates from the constituency of Porto, one from Braga, and one from Setúbal.

“We proved that it is possible to win votes without being an extremist, without being a populist and we proved that if there is a political phenomenon in Portugal, it is IL. Without populism, without protagonists, it is possible to fight apathy and give hope to the Portuguese”, celebrated Cotrim Figueiredo.

At the previous parliamentary elections, the party achieved 65,545 votes (1.3% nationally) and secured a single mandate through Cotrim Figueiredo, who sat in opposition.

Despite the narrowing of the opinion polls in the run-up to the election, the incumbent Socialist Party that led a minority-government with the support of parties to the left until October when the election was called, gained seats and provisionally holds 117 of the 230 mandates which would be sufficient to form a majority on its own. The Social Democratic Party (PSD) remains in second place, ahead of the right-wing Chega party which gained seats.

“There are only two parties that can claim victory and one worries us: the PS has an absolute majority. I have already had the opportunity to congratulate António Costa, but also to tell him that he can count on the firm opposition of IL. The other is us”, commented João Cotrim Figueiredo on the election results.

He made two commitments to his voters: first, “the firm, constant and implacable opposition to the socialism that has misgoverned us for so long”; the second will be to make “each Portuguese understand that liberalism works”.

Responding to the results, ALDE Party acting co-President Ilhan Kyuchyuk MEP said:

8 MPs, 5% and 270.000 votes. Great results Iniciativa Liberal! So happy to see that liberals are back on track in Portugal. You can count on the full support of ALDE Party!

In 2021, we heard from Cotrim Figueiredo as part of our Meet our Leaders interview series. Read the interview here.

Photo credit: Iniciativa Liberal

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