Snap election more likely
Following the downgrading of Portugal from A1 to A3 a general election has become more likely.
Socialist Party (PS) Prime Minister, Jose Socrates, has proposed a further set of austerity measures which include changes to healthcare, pensions and welfare benefits.
The opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD) has supported the last three rounds of austerity measures but has said that it will not back this round. That will put the PS in a minority in Parliament and if defeated will almost certainly lead to the fall of the government and an election.
The last election was on 27th September 2009 when the PS took 97 seats in the 230 seat parliament and the PSD took 81 seats.
On 23rd January 2011 Cavaco Silva the PSD candidate won the presidential election with 52.94% of the vote. His PS rival came second with 19.75% of the vote.
In opinion polls published in late February 2011, the PSD were on 47.8% and the PS were on 29.1%.