Portugal's Socialists win poll without absolute majority

The main centre-right opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD) captured 29.09 per cent of the vote, the interior ministry said after only the results of votes cast abroad were left to count.

That will give the Socialists 96 seats in the 230-seat assembly, down from the 121 they won in the last election in 2005, while the PSD will have 78.

The result of the votes cast abroad, which select four seats in the assembly, will be known on October 7. They have traditionally been split between the Socialists and the PSD.
The conservative Popular Party won 10.46 per cent of the vote, or 21 seats, while the far-left Left Bloc won 9.85 per cent and 16 seats.

The Communist-Green Party coalition, the only other force to win representation in the assembly, captured 7.88 per cent of the vote and 15 seats.

It is the first time that a government with an absolute majority has been returned to office for a second term with a minority in parliament and the results signal possible political instability at a time of economic challenges.

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