Socialists gain ahead of Portugal election, polls say
Portugal's ruling Socialists have seen a rise in popularity, the first poll in more than a month showed.
Portugal's ruling Socialists have seen a rise in popularity, putting them ahead of the opposition Social Democrats in the run up to a Sept. 27 general election, the first poll in more than a month showed on Monday.
The poll, published in the daily Correio de Manha, gave the Socialists 34.5 percent support, up from 30.5 percent in July. The Social Democrats slipped to 28.9 percent from 30.3 percent.
While the poll showed a bounce for Prime Minister Jose Socrates' Socialists, such an outcome would still put him short of the absolute majority his government currently has in parliament.
In the 2005 general election the Socialists won 45 percent of the vote.
The Left Bloc, a potential partner of the Socialists, slipped to 10.4 percent from 13.3 percent, while the Communists fell to 7.8 percent from 9.5 percent.
Socrates' campaign hopes to draw more supporters from the far left. During a speech at the weekend, he said a core issue of the election centred on the future of the country's welfare system at a time of rising budget deficits due to the economic downturn.
The CDS-PP right-wing party, which in the past has governed together with the Social Democrats, rose to 8.1 percent support from 6.1 percent, the poll showed.
The poll showed 6 percent of voters were undecided.
The poll was carried out from Sept. 1 to 4 and surveyed 750 people. It has a margin of error of 3.58 percentage points.
Reuters Last Mod: 07 Eylül 2009, 14:38