University of Lisbon political scientist Pedro Magalhaes and Mount St. Mary’s University professor of political science Paul Manuel are unable to call a clear winner as polling data suggest an even split in voter preferences.
"No party or list will obtain an absolute majority of seats. As for the winner, polls show a dead heat at the moment," Magalhaes said.
Manuel cited recent polling, which had the PS slightly ahead of the PaF, a coalition between the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Democratic and Social Center – People’s Party (CDS-PP).
"However, the electorate remains split and the outcome remains in doubt," he observed.
Magalhaes further projected a minority government that "won’t survive for long," given the two largest parties' divergent policies and internal party dynamics.
Manuel argued that the PS, on course to a slim victory, may attempt to form a center-left coalition, but declined to forecast major changes in the country’s overall direction of development.
With 132 seats, the PaF coalition is currently the largest faction in Portugal’s 230-seat Assembly of the Republic, followed by the PS with 74, the Democratic Unity Coalition's 16 and the Left Bloc with eight seats.