Costa’s win in Portugal continues Europe’s centre-left comeback | Portugal


The unexpected triumph of António Costa’s Socialist Party in this week’s Portuguese elections continues a cautious comeback of Europe’s centre-left – and analysts say could draw lessons from what remains a mixed picture for social democrats on the continent .

After the victories last fall of the German SPD and the Norwegian Labor Party, the unexpected victory of the Portuguese Prime Minister – with 41.7% of the vote, five points more than in 2019 – was more good news for a movement that , five years ago, appeared to be in terminal decline.

In some countries, this is still the case. The French Socialist Party was all but wiped out in the 2017 election and polls predict that its presidential candidate this year, Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, will do well to capture more than 3% in the first round, a score at hardly imaginable for a party once led by François Mitterrand and which only a decade ago controlled the Élysée, the Senate, the Parliament and most of the French regions.

The Dutch Labor Party (PvdA) also crashed to a record low in 2017, winning less than 6% of the vote and losing almost three-quarters of its MPs, and in last year’s parliamentary elections it did not sadly did not improve his score.

And while the context in Central and Eastern Europe is different, the Czech Social Democrats (CSSD), who had won four of the six polls held since the country was formed in 1993 and came second twice, have lost so heavily in October that they are no longer even in parliament.

Elsewhere, things are rosier: the five Nordic countries are led by centre-left governments; The Italian Democratic Party is a member of its ruling coalition; Pedro Sánchez’s PSOE leads a progressive alliance in Spain; and a social-democratic chancellor, Olaf Scholz, leads a left-liberal three-party coalition in Germany.


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