Poll. Portuguese give a negative mark to António Costa’s Government


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According to a survey conducted by CESOP – Universidade Católica Portuguesa for RTP, Antena 1 and Público, more than half of those polled have a negative assessment of the government. Even so, a large majority believes that António Costa’s Executive should serve its term to the end. In relation to the President of the Republic, the assessment has worsened over the years, but maintains high levels of popularity. In relation to Luís Montenegro, the Portuguese people have a more positive assessment of the current PSD leader’s performance than that of his predecessor, Rui Rio.

One year after the last legislative elections, which gave an absolute majority to the Socialist Party, the Portuguese have a negative assessment of António Costa’s government.

According to the CESOP poll, more than half of those polled (53 per cent) say the government’s performance has been “bad”, or “very bad”. In turn, 39 per cent evaluate the Socialist Government’s performance as “reasonable”, and seven per cent as “good”. Only 0.4 percent give the government a “very good” rating.

The average evaluation is worse than six months ago, when half of those polled assessed the performance of Costa’s Government as “reasonable”.

Most Portuguese (58 percent) admit that the recent controversies associated with the Government have changed their assessment of the Executive, and 87 percent of those polled say that the cases and resignations have an impact on the credibility of Costa’s Government.

Asked if there is a coordination problem in the Government, 85 percent of those polled answered “yes” and only eleven percent answered “no”.

Even so, the majority of those polled (69 percent) consider it more likely that the Government will serve its term to the end and 70 percent believe that this is the best solution for the country. Only 26 percent believe that there should be early elections.

When asked if the war in Ukraine has affected the performance of the government over the past year, the majority (55 percent) responded that it had “no effect” and 40 percent believe that the performance of the executive has worsened. Only one percent of respondents believe that the Government’s performance has improved over the past year.

Marcelo’s evaluation has worsened over the years

Regarding the President of the Republic, the evaluation by the Portuguese has worsened over the past seven years, but remains positive.

In November 2016, in his first year in office, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was rated 16.3 (on a scale of 0 to 20) by 97 percent of respondents – the highest rating since records began.

Since then, the evaluation has been decreasing, but Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa maintains his high levels of popularity and recognition.

In May 2021, in the first year of his second mandate, 95 percent of those polled rated the performance of the President of the Republic with 15.7. At this time, Marcelo’s average evaluation remains positive, but is much lower than at the beginning of his first mandate (12.2).

Montenegro with better score than Rio

Regarding the leader of the opposition, the Portuguese make a more positive evaluation of the performance of Luís Montenegro than of his predecessor, Rui Rio.

According to the CESOP survey, 53 percent of respondents evaluate the performance of the current PSD leader as “reasonable”, 20 percent as “bad” and ten percent as “good”.

In July 2021, a CESOP poll also showed that 48 percent of respondents evaluated Rui Rio’s performance as “reasonable,” 22 percent as “bad,” and ten percent as “good.

Technical File

This survey was conducted by CESOP – Universidade Católica Portuguesa for RTP, Antena1 and Público between February 9th and 17th, 2023. The target universe is made up of voters living in Portugal. Respondents were randomly selected from a randomly generated list of cell phone numbers. All interviews were carried out by telephone (CATI). The respondents were informed of the study’s objective and showed willingness to participate. A total of 1002 valid inquiries were obtained, with 46% of the respondents being women. Geographical distribution: 29% from the North region, 20% from the Center, 37% from the A.M. of Lisbon, 7% from the Alentejo, 4% from the Algarve, 2% from Madeira and 2% from the Azores. All the results obtained were then weighted according to the distribution of the population by sex, age group and region, based on the electoral census and INE estimates. The response rate was 26%. The maximum margin of error associated with a random sample of 1002 respondents is 3.1%, with a confidence level of 95%.

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