Exit poll predicts victory for Portuguese ruling coalition

Lisbon, Oct 5 (IANS) Portugal’s centre-right ruling coalition that enforced harsh austerity for the past four years is heading to victory despite the main opposition Socialist Party promising a less aggressive alternative, an exit poll predicted on Sunday.

Spokesperson of the Social Democrat Party Marco Antonio Costa said the results pointed to a “great victory”, adding that he hoped a stable government could be formed.

The exit poll shows the coalition is set to win between 38-43 percent of the vote, while the Socialists are expected to win 30-35 percent of the vote, Xinhua news agency reported.

The ruling party is winning 108 seats to 118 seats in a 230-seat parliament, while the Socialist Party is expected to win from 80 to 88 seats, according to the exit poll by Portuguese broadcaster RTP and the Catholic University.

Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho will be the first in Europe to be re-elected after enforcing an unpopular program with the Portuguese opting to embark on a less adventurous journey than its neighbour Greece, where the anti-austerity Syriza was comfortably elected.

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