Portugal’s centre-right governing coalition has won the country’s parliamentary elections, exit polls and early results suggest.
The coalition, led by Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, is ahead with about 40% of the vote, followed by the Socialists on just under 32%, the partial results suggest.
Portugal’s elections were seen as a referendum on four years of spending cuts.
The governing coalition had vowed to continue the policies, in place since 2011 after it was forced to seek a eurozone bailout.
The opposition Socialists, led by Antonio Costa, and other left-wing groups had criticized the cuts.
Unemployment has been falling for two-and-a-half years, but many regard the recovery as fragile.
The centre-right Social Democratic Party and its right-wing ally, the People’s Party, put up joint lists.
Portugal is voting in a parliamentary election that is widely seen as a referendum on four years of spending cuts and market reforms.
The centre-right governing coalition has vowed to continue austerity policies in place since 2011, after it was forced to seek a eurozone bailout.
The Socialists and other left-wing groups have criticized the cuts.
President Anibal Cavaco Silva called for a high turnout on October 4, saying Portugal was facing a crucial moment.
Years of austerity have left Portugal’s electorate deeply split, and with an unusually large number of undecided voters.
Socialist leader Antonio Costa has said that only a vote for his party is a “useful vote” against the government.
The centre-right Social Democratic Party led by PM Pedro Passos Coelho and its right-wing ally, the People’s Party have put up joint lists of candidates in all electoral districts.
Portugal’s unemployment has been falling for two and a half years, but many regard the recovery as fragile.