Both Portugal’s regular pollsters, Eurosondagem and Aximage, released their March data yesterday, and the picture the twin surveys present is very similar; and very stable compared with February’s numbers.
The only real distinction between the two polls lies in the scale of the public opinion lead held by ruling Socialist Party (Partido Socialista, PS) over its Social Democrat (PSD) rivals. With Eurosondagem for the Expresso newspaper and broadcaster SIC, the margin is a handsome 9.5 points, up slightly on last month. With Aximage for the Correio da Manha and Negocios papers, it rises to nearly 15.7 points, practically identical to the previous poll.
These scores remain well above the PS’s October 2015 General Election score of 32.3 per cent, reflecting the success of the minority government of Antonio Costa in shepherding the country’s economy out of punishing austerity. In Aximage’s measure of satisfaction with the government’s performance, 46.2 per cent of respondents say it has exceeded their expectations, while only 9.2 per cent say it has done worse (43.2 equal to expectations, 1.4 ‘don’t know’). The same firm’s composite index of satisfaction with the government hits a record high of +59 in March. Clearly the PM’s own personality is driving much of this positive feeling, and he dominates the classic ‘best Prime Minister’ question by 63.6 per cent to 26.2 per cent for PSD leader Pedro Passos Coelho.
Meanwhile the parliamentary supporters of the PS administration, the Left Bloc (BE) and the CDU (Communist-Green alliance), see little if any movement in their support. The Christian Democrat CDS-PP, which contested the October 2015 General Election jointly with the PSD, is also stable.
Voting intentions, per cent (change on 10 Feb poll):
Socialist Party (PS) 38.3 (+0.5)
Social Democratic Party (PSD) 28.8 (-0.4)
Left Bloc (BE) 9.2 (nc)
Communist-Green Coalition (CDU) 8.0 (-0.3)
Christian Democrats/People’s Party (CDS/PP) 7.2 (+0.2)
Others / “blank” vote 8.5 (nc)
Fieldwork: 01.03-08.03.2017. Released: 10.03.2017. Participants: 1011. Methodology: Telephone poll.
Voting intentions, per cent (change on 11 Feb poll):
Socialist Party (PS) 41.7 (-0.3)
Social Democratic Party (PSD) 26.0 (-0.4)
Left Bloc (BE) 9.2 (+0.8)
Communist-Green Coalition (CDU) 6.8 (-1.1)
Christian Democrats/People’s Party (CDS/PP) 5.3 (+0.3)
Others / “blank” vote/ unsure 11.0 (+0.7)
Fieldwork: 04.03-06.03.2017. Released: 10.03.2017. Participants: 608. Methodology: Telephone poll.
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