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Assembleia da Republica (Assembly of the Republic)

A historical Archive of past election results for this chamber can be found on a separate page

Parliament name (generic / translated) Assembleia da Republica / Assembly of the Republic
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 20 February 2005
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all seats in the Assembly following its premature dissolution in December 2004. General elections had previously been held in March 2002.
Prime Minister José Manuel Durão Barroso resigned on 6 July 2004, in order to submit his candidature for the office of President of the European Commission. He was succeeded by Mr. Pedro Santana Lopes, leader of the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD). Mr. Santana Lopes formed a new Government, which took office on 17 July 2004.

On 10 December 2004, however, President Jorge Sampaio dissolved parliament and called parliamentary elections for 20 February 2005. Among the reasons behind the dissolution, he cited successive incidents and statements, contradictions and lack of coordination that had contributed to discrediting the government and State institutions in general. These factors had led to considerable instability and had deepened the distrust between the State and society, thus weakening Portugal's position vis à vis the major challenges facing Europe. Moreover, in his view, the ability of the parliamentary majority to form a new government had been undermined.

Economic issues dominated the election campaign. Although the 2005 budget aimedto reduce the deficit to 2.8 per cent of GDP, analysts were skeptical that any government will be able to achieve it. In response to an unemployment rate of 7.1 per cent at the end of 2004, the highest in the last six years, the opposition Socialist Party (PS), led by Mr Jose Socrates, insisted on the need for more investment in technology and training, while PSD argued that productivity should be increased, and suggested raising the retirement age from 65 to 68.

Opinion polls before the elections put the opposition Socialist Party (PS) ahead of the governing coalition composed of the PSD and the Popular Party (CDS-PP). Mr. Socrates had opposed the U.S.-led intervention in Iraq and called for closer foreign policy coordination with the EU Member States.

Around 64 per cent of the country's 8.9 million registered voters cast their ballot, slightly up from 62 per cent in the 2002 elections.

The elections resultedin a major victory for the socialists and a heavy defeat for the conservatives. For the first time in its history, the PS secured an overall majority by obtaining 121 out of the 230 seats, an increase of 25 seats. The PSD recorded its worst result since 1983 with only 75 members elected, down from 105. Its coalition partner the CDS-PP won 12 seats, two fewer than in the previous elections. The two partners in the Unitary Democratic Coalition (CDU) won a total of 14 seats: 12 for the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) and 2 for the Green Ecological Party (PEV). The Left Bloc (BE) gained three more seats, or eight members in total.

After three years in the opposition, Mr. Jose Socrates, a former environment minister, became the country's fourth prime minister in three years. In March 2005 members of parliament were sworn in to serve a four-year term.
Voter turnout
Round no 120 February 2005
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
5'747'834 (64.26%)
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Socialist Party (PS) 230 2'588'312 46.40
Social Democratic Party (PSD) 230 1'653'425 29.64
Unitary Democratic Coalition (CDU) 230 433'369 7.77
Popular Party (CDS-PP) 230 416'415 7.46
Left Bloc (BE) 230 364'971 6.54
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
Socialist Party (PS) 121
Social Democratic Party (PSD) 75
Unitary Democratic Coalition (CDU) 14
Popular Party (CDS-PP) 12
Left Bloc (BE) 8
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
21 to 30 years
31 to 40 years
41 to 50 years
51 to 60 years
61 to 70 years
Over 70 years
Distribution of seats according to profession
Legal professions 71
Educators 64
Civil/public servants/administrators (including social/development workers) 18
Business/trade/industry employees, including executives 18
Economists 15
Engineers/PC experts 11
Media-related professions (journalists/publishers) 6
Scientists 5
Medical professions (doctors, dentists, nurses) 5
Bankers (including invest bankers)/accountants 5
Others 5
Consultants (including real estate agents) 3
Liberal professions (including artists, authors) and sports professionals 1
Farmers/agricultural workers (including wine growers) 1
Military/police officers 1
Architects 1
Note on the number of candidates:
According to Article 15 of Law no. 14/79, as amended, "the number of effective candidates in the lists proposed for the election must equal the number of seats allocated to the constituency referred to in the lists, with no fewer than two, and no more than five alternate candidates".

- Assembleia da Republica
- BBC News
- IPU Group of Portugal (16.05.2005; 30.11.2005, 01.01.2008)

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