Cars drive past billboards of Portuguese Prime Minister and Socialist Party leader Antonio Costa, left, and Left Bloc leader Catarina Martins, in Lisbon, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Portugal will hold a general election on Oct. 6 in which voters will choose members of the next Portuguese parliament. Slogan on the Socialist's billboard reads in Portuguese, "It's your vote that decides". (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

Socialists tipped to continue in power as Portugal votes

October 06, 2019 - 12:18 am

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal is holding a general election, with the center-left Socialist Party widely expected to collect most votes and stay in government for another four years.

The Socialists have overseen a strong economic recovery, with unemployment dropping by around half, to 6%, over its term. They have also started straightening out Portugal's ill-managed public finances.

The main opposition Social Democrats party is still associated with the deep cutbacks and a three-year recession that ended in 2014, when the center-right party was in power.

Recent opinion polls have indicated that the Socialists will fall short of a majority in parliament. That means they may have to negotiate alliances with smaller left-of-center parties, as they did in their last term, to pass legislation.

Sunday's ballot is open to around 10.8 million eligible voters.