Portugal opposition centre-right party wins election: official results

Portugal's main centre-right party narrowly defeated the incumbent Socialists but fell well short of a majority in a general election that saw far-right Chega surge to become a potential kingmaker.

The result marks another advance for the populist far right in Europe, where they already govern — often in coalition — in countries such as Italy, Hungary and Slovakia, or are steadily gaining, as in France and Germany.

Near-complete official results showed early Monday that the centre-right Democratic Alliance (AD) captured 29.49 percent percent of the vote in Sunday's poll, just ahead of the Socialists, with 28.66 percent.

That would give the AD 79 seats in the 230-seat parliament against 77 for the Socialists, who have been in power since 2015.

Chega, led by former priest trainee and television football commentator Andre Ventura, captured 18 percent of the vote, giving it 48 seats, up from just 12 in the last election in 2022.

Even with the backing of new business-friendly party Liberal Initiative, (IL) which won 8 seats, the AD would still need the support of Chega to reach a majority to pass legislation.

"Chega asked to become the centrepiece of the political system and it achieved this result," Ventura said late Sunday in an address to his supporters who chanted "Portugal, Portugal".

"We want to give Portugal a stable government," he added.

 Immigration concerns 

Chega has said it would demand to be part of a rightist coalition government in exchange for parliamentary support, but during the campaign AD leader Luis Montenegro repeatedly ruled out any post-election agreement with the anti-establishment party branded as xenophobic by its critics.

He will now likely come under...

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