Scroll to the top

Portugal election after corruption scandal fuels far-right

​People wait for Socialist Party (PS) Secretary General Pedro Nuno Santos to arrive for a campaign rally ahead of the snap elections in Afurada, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, March 4, 2024.

People wait for Socialist Party (PS) Secretary General Pedro Nuno Santos to arrive for a campaign rally ahead of the snap elections in Afurada, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, March 4, 2024.

REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

“A good place to stash books. Or to stash 75,800 euros." So reads a bold IKEA bookcase ad with a wink to the scandal of that amount of cash being discovered in books in Portugal’s Prime Minister António Costa's office. That tells you everything you need to know about the country’s election this Sunday.

Portugal’s vote is all about corruption, and we think IKEA’s marketing team deserves a raise.


The discovery brought down the center-left government and fueled the hard-right populist party, Chega, which is expected to double its seats thanks to voters disenchanted with mainstream political parties. One of Western Europe’s poorest countries, Portugal has shifted right due to economic malaise over stagnated wages and inflation.

The center-right Democratic Alliance is expected to win the most votes but fall short of a parliamentary majority, positioning Chega as the kingmaker of the right-wing coalition.

The historical irony: The election takes place on the 50th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution that swept away the right-wing dictatorship that had kept the country in shackles for four decades.

Chega’s rising popularity is a sign that Portugal may not be immune to rising populism across Europe, which is expected to result in major gains for the far-right in European elections in June.

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO's daily newsletter